‘Substance misuse’ is a term used to describe the situation when a drinker or drug user experiences mental or physical harm as a result of their habit without necessarily being addicted to the substance in question. Substance misuse needs to be contrasted with substance dependence (also known as addiction). Dependence occurs at a more advanced stage of the addiction process. Doctors make a diagnosis of addiction if three or more of the following features are present.
+ A strong desire or sense of compulsion to take the substance.
+ Difficulties controlling the substance-taking behavior in terms of when it occurs, and or being able to stop, and or being unable to control the amount consumed once started.
+ A physically unpleasant withdrawal state when not consuming the substance.
+ Further substance use to relieve or avoid the withdrawal state.
+ Evidence of increased tolerance (increased doses are required in order to achieve effects originally produced by lower doses).
+ Progressive neglect of alternative pleasures or interests because of the substance use.
+ Persisting with substance use despite clear evidence of harmful consequences.
+ Narrowing of a person’s ‘personal repertoire’ or lifestyle – i.e. taking the substance becomes more important than anything else. By Dr. Ciaran Mulholland http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/menshealth/facts/addiction.htm
If you’re an addict,
it controls your life
and your life becomes
It’s boring and painful,
filling your system
with something that makes
you stare at your shoes
for six hours.