Difference between drug abuse & addiction

Is drug addiction and drug abuse the same thing? Can one abuse drugs and not be addicted?


Well…to abuse something means to treat it or use it in a way, usually bad, that it’s not supposed to be. Addiction means to feel like something HAS to be done or had.


There are people who use drugs only on the weekends or during times when they know they aren’t going to be working or in a situation where it could “backfire” on them, like professionally or reputation-wise. So, they’re definitely abusing drugs, especially if they’re using illegal substances.


But, if the circumstances are such that they CAN’T do whatever it is they normally do or go wherever it is they normally go to put them in the situation to use the drug, then, they just don’t do it. So, if that’s the case, then technically they’re not addicted.


And, what about people who are alcohol abusers? In other words, a person may not drink for a long, long time, and then all of a sudden, wham! He or she is at a party or at a bar or somewhere where alcohol is available, they take advantage of the situation, and it doesn’t stop until the person passes out cold. Once this particular episode has passed, the person may not take another drink for a another long while, even when they can.


An alcoholic, however, usually cannot think beyond that next drink. The thought of facing another minute without a drink is absolutely terrifying.


So, can one be an abuser without being an addict? Any thoughts?