What Is Drug Abuse and How Can You Overcome It?

seated woman on couch learning about drug abuse

What Is Drug Abuse and How Can You Overcome It?


Drug addiction is an epidemic in the United States, and thousands of people are dying each year as a result. The leading causes of overdose deaths in America come from opiates, like heroin or prescription painkillers. However, many other drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines are killing people as well. It can be difficult to understand how so many people become addicted or even try drugs for the first time, knowing how dangerous they can be, but addiction starts with drug abuse. While drug abuse is much more common, many people eventually become addicted after a period of drug abuse.

What is Drug Abuse?

Drug abuse is something everyone’s heard of, but many people still don’t know the answer to the question, “What is drug abuse exactly?” Typically, drug abuse starts when a person is a teenager because teens are naturally impulsive, curious and want to fit in with their peers. It’s possible to start abusing drugs at any age, though. Drug abuse is defined as using any type of mind-altering substance for anything other than its intended purpose. While the use of any illegal substance is considered abuse, it’s important to understand how gateway drug abuse can lead to harsher drugs and addiction. You won’t find many heroin addicts that say heroin was the first drug they ever tried. Out of all of the drugs out there, people know that heroin is the most dangerous and most addictive. Heroin addiction can start with the abuse of alcohol, but it’s most commonly due to the abuse of prescription pain medications. Some people are prescribed prescription opiates to treat an injury or illness. If they take the medication as prescribed, it can be useful. However, as soon as they begin taking it in a way other than what’s prescribed, it’s considered abuse. They’re no longer trying to treat physical pain; they’re trying to get the euphoric feeling that comes with using the medication.

How Abuse Turns Into Addiction

Over time, drug abuse can become an addiction because the human body is constantly changing and learning a person’s behaviors to maintain balance. Many people who abuse drugs use them to deal with feelings or emotions that they’re trying to get away from. Eventually, the brain makes a connection that every time a person feels a certain way, they use drugs or alcohol. The brain starts telling the body that this is the only way to feel better, so the person has an overwhelming craving for their substance of choice. They may partake, regardless of the visible problems that it’s causing in their lives. Recovery from drug abuse and addiction isn’t easy.

Getting Help for Drug Abuse and Addiction

Now that you know the answer to the question “what is drug abuse?,” you may find that you need rehab. Here at Stepping Stone Center for Recovery, we understand the disease of addiction and how to overcome it. We offer a wide variety of therapies designed to help you overcome your addiction, including spirituality, which is often overlooked. Whether you’re in the stages of drug abuse or are already addicted, there’s still hope to live the life that you deserve to live. Our treatment program is fully accredited. Take your life back from drug abuse. Call 866-957-4960 to learn more.