Drug Addiction vs. Substance Abuse | Tips for identifying a drug addiction | Amy Winehouse Twenty-seven year old, Amy Winehouse died Saturday after an alleged alcohol and drug binge Friday that included heroine, cocaine, and ecstasy. Family and friends gathered to remember Winehouse on Tuesday and reported that her body will be cremated after the services. Winehouse won 5 Grammy awards in 2006 for her Back to Black album. She was most affectionately known for her soulful blend of R&B and jazz. The details of Winehouse’s death are uncertain, however, with her openly revealing battle with drugs and alcohol, this tragic event it has sparked questions concerning substance abuse and drug addictions. Is there a difference between Substance abuse and Drug Addiction? The diagnostic criteria for Substance Abuse is defined as a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period: 1) Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home 2) Recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (i.e. driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by substance use). 3) Recurrent substance-related legal problems (i.e. arrests for substance -related disorderly conduct). 4) Continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (i.e. arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication, physical fights). 5) Absence of dependence has been established. The diagnostic criteria for Addiction or Substance Dependence is defined as a pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period: 1) Tolerance as defined by either of the following:
(1) The need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or the desired effect; or
(2) A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.
2) Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
(1) The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance; or
(2) The same (or closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
3) Substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than intended. 4) There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use. 5) A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance or recover from its effects. 6) Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of use. 7) The use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the use (i.e. continued drinking despite recognition that an ulcer was made worse by alcohol consumption). What are addictive substances and behaviors? 1) Alcohol 2) Heroin 3) Cocaine 4) Marijuana 5) Prescription painkillers 6) Stimulants 7) Other drugs 8) Sex 9) Gambling 10) Internet use Signs and Symptoms of Drug Use There are many signs, both physical and behavioral, that indicate drug use. Each drug has distinct characteristics, however, here are a variety of general signs that a person is using drugs: 1) Sudden change in behavior 2) Unpredictable changes in mood/ mood swings 3) Withdrawal from family and friends 4) Poor hygiene 5) Loss of interest (hobbies, sports, and pleasurable events) 6) Sleeping pattern changes 7) Red or glassy eyes 8) Runny nose 9) Change in eating patterns Are you Addicted to a substance? Here are 8 signs of addiction 1) Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — this can be daily or even several times a day 2) Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug 3) Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug 4) Spending money on the drug even though you can’t afford it 5) Doing things to obtain the drug that you normally wouldn’t do, such as stealing 6) Feeling that you need the drug to deal with your problems 7) Driving or doing other risky activities when you’re under the influence of the drug 8) Focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug Identifying Drug symptoms in Teens 1) Problems at school. 2) Frequently missed classes 3) Physical health issues. 4) Lack of energy and motivation 5) Neglected appearance/ Poor hygiene 6) Changes in behavior. 7) Excessive withdrawal from family and friends 8) Spending money excessively / Request for money without explanation 9) Stealing/ Theft If you or someone you know are struggling with Substance Abuse or Drug Addiction, contact a therapist that can assist you. NOTE: Freely redistribute this resource, electronically or in print, provided you leave the authors, name, credentials, and contact information below intact and include a link to this article.