Recreational Drug Use Vs Addiction: What’s the Difference? | AspenRidge

Recreational Drug Use Vs Addiction:  What’s the Difference?

Recreational Drug Use Vs Addiction: What’s the Difference?

They are classified as a chemical substance that people will take for enjoyment as opposed to using for medicinal purposes. Amphetamines, marijuana, alcohol, and cocaine are just some examples of recreational drugs that are used. They start out as a pleasurable past time or a means to making someone feel better about their life. It can lead to many problems, however. Addiction, health, and crime are just some of the fallouts to using drugs recreationally.

Recreational is a term that is used to describe how often a drug is used and the impact it has on a person’s life. It is casual and something done in one’s spare time. Few issues come up when someone uses a drug recreationally but there are still problems that can arise. The main risks would include risky behaviors like violence, rape, drinking and driving, random accidents, and alcohol poisoning. Dependency has all these risks involves at a more frequent rate. It also comes with additional problems.

So what is the big difference between recreational drugs usage and addiction? If you take a hit of cocaine oncee every few weeks, are you addicted? If you drink one little glass of wine about five days a week, are you addicted? Find out the Know the bigthe main differences between recreational drug users and those who are addicted and will need a drug detox or drug rehab.

What The Studies Show Us About The Anatomical Differences Between Recreational Users and Those Addicted

Recreational drugs affect the brain, which is what defines the difference between usage and addiction. In the brain, there is a big difference between recreational drug use versus addiction. UK researchers found that when you use recreational drugs occasionally, it fires up the brain in the ventral striatum. You still feel the reinforcement of the behavior when this part of the brain is stimulated.

However, when your drug usage switches to using recreational drugs more often and for psychological rewards, it’s the dorsal striatum part of the brain that is stimulated. This is the area of the brain that is enhanced when you learn any type of habit.

Scientists also compared the parts of the brain that were stimulated more than usual when someone was impulsive. They found that low levels of dopamine make animals try to get more and more cocaine as if they can never get enough. Drugs like cocaine bind to the receptors for dopamine in the body and cause this behavior to occur.

For people who are impulsive, a similar thing happens and it’s easy for them to abuse cocaine. This happens easily if the person has been taking other drugs that affect the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This is why recreational drug use often leads to the use and abuse of several drugs. This can cause a co-occurring disorder which creates a complex addiction.

Scientists report that being impulsive has been shown to create a bridge between recreational drug use to compulsive drug use. The outcome can cause a drug habit or addiction. This can lead to the person needing to go through drug detox and rehabilitation at an inpatient treatment program. Addiction resources in Colorado and elsewhere are abundant when it comes to helping people with addiction to recreational drugs.

List of Recreational Drugs


The most popular recreational drug is alcohol. While some might question if alcohol is a drug at all, the answer is yes. It is considered a drug of dependence. A recent survey conducted said that close to 140 million people recreationally use alcohol. Of those, there are 22 million that have a dependency on alcohol. Recreational by definition describes an enjoyable past time that you do from time to time.

People drink while they’re not working. They drink with friends or on special occasions. They don’t have  a habit of drinking or build a life around alcohol. They can live with or without drinking. Dependence can occur based on genetic makeup or a means of numbing oneself after prolonged anxiety. On the other end of the spectrum, alcohol addiction takes over someone’s life. A National Geographic video sheds some light on just how debilitating alcoholism is.

Dependency means to need something. You can develop a need for alcohol from drinking regularly at which point the body and mind require it to function. It helps someone with a dependency to feel more comfortable in their own skin during times of discomfort. This can include changes in their routine, withdrawal symptoms, peer pressure, stressful times, and problems in their relationships or at work. Alcohol can ruin a person’s life when addiction sets in. This disease can cause risky behaviors due to a change in the way the brain functions.

There are signs of the development of dependency that can be seen when a person doesn’t have alcohol in their system. Most commonly, they include:

  • Irritation.
  • Cramps.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Sweating.
  • Trembling, body shaking.
  • Headaches.

There have been many people in the limelight that have been exposed for having an addiction to alcohol. Lindsay Lohan is one of them with a story to tell about her battle with alcohol. She was a Disney child star gone adult star. She started recreational drug use at a young age with the fast based life she head. She said that alcohol was the gateway drug for her and that she would combine it with cocaine. She admitted herself into rehab a few due to substance addiction.


LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a hallucinogen that causes someone to trip out. They may see things that aren’t there. The time a person is under the influence of the drug, which is usually from 1 – 8 hours, is known as a “trip.” The drug peaks for 2-4 hours so if you’re stuck in a bad trip, it lasts for a substantial amount of time. When a person is having a good trip, they feel relaxed and happy. A bad trip can bring on psychosis; you might feel frightened or panic. The hallucinations can be good or bad.

There are tablets or drop of liquid on a piece of paper and costs about $10 for a hit. Street names include: tipper, stars, paper mushrooms, acid, and blotter. The hits are between 50-100 micrograms of the drug. Higher doses have been taken and can cause more intense hallucinations.

LSD is one of the recreational drugs on this list that has shown little signs of being addictive. There are risks however. People on a bad trip may harm themselves. Also, mixing hallucinogens with other drugs like alcohol can increase the risk of a bad trip. Physical and psychological problems may persist as well.

People that use LSD chronically will not have physical withdrawal symptoms. There is also not a lot of evidence supporting any long-lasting effects of LSD. Some users may experience long-term psychiatric effects based on a variety of things such as previous mental illness. Hallucinations and other visuals can occur after the drug has left the body. This is known as flashbacks or Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. There is no treatment for the condition and causes are unknown.


A report on Ketamine said that the recreational use of it has not been traditionally discussed. The emphasis is more about pharmacological benefits as opposed to the dependency and abuse that goes on. It has been found in the few studies that have been conducted, that ketamine comes with it’s risks. When used recreationally, the behavior of a person changes due to a change in the brain. Depression, anxiety, problems with cognition, and the onset of schizophrenia are some of the risks.

Ketamine is a strong painkiller with street names like vitamin K, special K, green, and donkey dust. It can be taken by swallowing the pill or crushing it up to be snorted or injected. It relaxes the user and makes them feel like they are out of their body. Users will hallucinate and time will be distorted in the mind. The trip can be good or bad. It can cause damage to the bladder also known as ketamine bladder syndrome. When someone is on a Ketamine trip, they don’t feel pain which is dangerous. One can break their arm and not realize it. Heart and blood pressure rises and when sharing needles, veins can be damaged.

Ketamine is one of the recreational drugs that have been used since the 19080’s as a party drug. It was a big part of the rave scene, having similar effects to ecstasy. It’s a Schedule III classification and has a high potential for abuse and addiction. This is especially true for those with depression or suicidal thoughts.

When used recreationally, it causes a feeling of relaxation and an instant change of mood. For those who are depressed, it can cause dependency to the feeling. Psychiatrists are looking into Ketamine as a form of medication for clinical depression and people experiencing suicidal thoughts. Patients can very quickly be taken out of a state of depression. This dissociative anesthetic is appealing for people with mood disorders, creating a co-occurring disorder.

This video goes deeper into a woman’s account of taking doses of Ketamine to treat her depression.


Cocaine is the source of many Hollywood movie storylines. It’s also caused the likes of Demi Lovato and Drew Barrymore to admit themselves in rehab. Addiction treatment for cocaine abuse helped them move forward with their lives and become role models. The battle wasn’t easy though, it’s one of the recreational drugs that can hook you in from the first time you use it.

Cocaine is an illicit drug known on the streets as crack, coke, pebbles, and freebase. Even when used casually, cocaine can cause major health problems. The powder is cocaine and is most commonly snorted. Freebase and crack cocaine are commonly smoked through a pipe. Cocaine and crack can also be turned into a liquid for injection. Cocaine makes users feel amazing. They are alert, confident, and excited. The problem is the comedown which occurs within an hour. This is why people will take multiple hits in a night. Tolerance occurs quickly.

When used recreationally, it can bring on mental illness like depression, anxiety, or panic disorders. Blood pressure spikes and there is a risk of heart attacks as the heart beats very quickly. Cocaine is highly addictive and can cause death by overdose. It causes high levels of dopamine to be released which is what causes the pleasure and euphoria. A user can show symptoms of addiction after using cocaine a handful of times.

As someone transitions from recreational drug use of cocaine to addiction, it is more behavioral symptoms. A user will want to use it regardless of the consequences. This is a sure sign of addiction. While it doesn’t cause the same physical addiction as other substances, the short duration of it’s effects and the big crash causes a craving right away. The bridge between recreational use and addiction with cocaine is a short one.


This stimulant taps into the central nervous system, treating children with ADHD. It can also help with symptoms of narcolepsy. For those who use it recreationally, there is a risk of psychiatric side effects of Ritalin. There are a variety of trade names but Ritalin is the most common brand. When used as directed, it is considered safe. Recreational drug use includes someone taking it when it’s not prescribed to them.

On the streets, it is nicknamed kiddie coke, poor man’s cocaine, skittles, and smarties. Some users will ground it up and inhale or inject it. This causes it to be absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly. This gives it a similar high to cocaine. Ritalin dependency isn’t such a concern until it’s used recreationally and abused in larger quantities. This is where addiction can start to become more of a risk. High doses of Ritalin can cause negative physical issues. A user’s personality and mood will change. It can also very quickly lead to addiction.

Ritalin addiction can cause:

  • Radical changes in mood.
  • Financial problems.
  • Compulsive drug seeking.
  • Social withdrawal from loved ones.
  • Decreased performance for responsibilities in life like work or study.
  • Changes of priority to only caring about getting high.
  • Impaired judgment.


Psychoactive stimulant that affects the body and mind like amphetamines do. Studies have found that mephedrone has very similar effects and risks that MDMA does. Mephedrone and it’s negative effects can be more severe however when comparing the two recreational drugs. The user will feel euphoric, confident, and will often be quite chatty. Similar to ecstasy, the user may also feel a sense of love for those around them that is temporary.

Mephedrone is a psychoactive drug and a synthetic (manmade) stimulant. It is an amphetamine and cathinone which makes it similar to ecstasy. It changes how the user thinks and how the body functions. There is no medical usage for it. Street names include meow meow, m smack, m cat, bubble, mc, and charge. As a recreational drug, it is used occasionally by partygoers for enjoyment.

There is concern about the new psychoactive substances, also known as legal highs. Mephedrone was created to avoid becoming a regulated substance. Regardless, the US made the drug illegal in 2012. It is based on cathinone compounds (found in the Khat plant). It comes in tablets, capsules, and white powder and is most commonly snorted.

This video explains all the aspects of Mephedrone. It explains that it causes dopamine and serotonin spikes which is why users experience euphoria. When the drug wears off, the user may wish to take more to keep the high.

Compulsive redosing is not recommended and can cause a dependency. The redosing is one of biggest reasons for death due to overdose. Taking too much can cause blueing of the feet, hands and legs. For anyone with heart problems, it can prompt cardiac arrest. One dose usage can cause heart palpitations, paranoia, and headaches. A user may become suspicious or anxious during a trip. One can have a temper tantrum and the heart may begin to race.

A study found that there is a high rate of mephedrone addiction amongst people clubbing. There are many signs of dependence such as withdrawal effects. While a recreational user will be able to pick it up and put it down when convenient, there are also users that try and fail when trying to abstain. They will build a tolerance to it and have to take more to get the high they once achieved.


Ecstasy is a psychoactive drug that alters a person’s feelings. Energy increases, allowing users to stay up all night and dance. The drug gives people a feeling of love, empathy, and pleasure. The effects occur quickly once ingested. Recreationally, ecstasy is risky. Every time someone uses, they are gambling with their life. There is no way to monitor the potency of any given pill or capsule. They may be impure so effects of each hit will be unknown. Many users have died from taking ecstasy. Street names include E, MDMA, and crystal.

There are also adverse effects that occur during the trip and with your long-term health. A user may experience:

  • Paranoia.
  • Memory loss.
  • Insomnia.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Increase of heart rate.
  • Immune system can be compromised.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Greater potential for risky behavior.

Deaths have occurred from a dangerous rise in body heat and dehydration. After the drug wears off, people will be exhausted and usually feel a sense of depression. Ecstasy boosts serotonin and dopamine levels. When it leaves the system, those levels fall and the brain is temporarily unable to produce levels of the chemicals that make us feel happy and energetic.

Addiction to ecstasy is possible. Physical dependency isn’t common but it’s the psychological addiction that is. Research has found that it is possible to experience symptoms of addiction when recreational use gets out of control. While they may be addicted, they aren’t dependent on ecstasy. Addiction is the behavioral pattern that comes with using the drug regardless of risks and health problems. Dependency is when the body adapts due to the presence of the drug in the body. Withdrawal can cause anxiety, confusion, and depression. A physical dependence on ecstasy is rare even when someone uses it chronically.


There are varieties of prescriptions that derive from the benzodiazepine family. Diazepam (valium) and Lorazepam (Ativan), Clonazepam (Klonopin) are some examples. They are used for a variety of health issues and are also a drug that is highly abused.

As explained in this short video, GABA receptors are affected by benzodiazepines. The GABA receptors are the part of the brain that allows us to relax. It eases anxiety due to it’s sedating effect. The family of benzos are used to treat psychiatric disorders and anxiety. When used recreationally, they are often mixed with alcohol. This is dangerous because the sedation is greater and can cause a person to stop breathing.

Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed to relax people. There is short and long lasting versions. The likes of drugs like Rohypnol are short lasting and are used as a sleeping pill. For people with severe anxiety, these drugs are useful because they begin to work within an hour usually. Benzos can be used as a muscles relaxant also. It is used to treat alcohol withdrawal, preventing delirium tremens.

Benzodiazepines are highly addictive and doctors will usually only prescribe them for up to four weeks. Tolerance develops quickly even when used properly. When used recreationally, the abuse of benzodiazepines can cause addiction much quicker. Users have said they will use it with other recreational drugs. It helps people come down from drugs like cocaine and acid.

Addiction to benzos occur due to surges of dopamine that are caused in the brain. The result is a change of the natural dopamine-producing cells. When abused enough, benzos will cause a deterioration of the cells that help a person function and maintain a sense of well-being. The temporary surges of dopamine cause great pleasure but it’s also something the brain becomes accustomed to. With benzo addiction, you need the drugs to feel happy. When used on occasion, users will enjoy the relaxation of the drug but won’t require it to function.

When someone is addicted to benzodiazepines, it’s actually dangerous to stop using them cold turkey. The brain doesn’t function properly and can cause seizures. Confusion, hallucination, and convulsions are also a risk. On top of that, there may be a sense of anxiety and all the original fears that existed before one started taking the drug.


Amphetamines are a stimulant that gives people more energy. Adderall contains amphetamines and is  used to help those with ADHD. It is also highly abused as a recreational drug. It helps party goers stay up late with the energy to dance without fatigue. It can cause a jittery effect in people and anxiety can set in. They can even cause a mental condition (psychosis) where a user isn’t coherent. They are literally no longer ‘there’.

Street names include speed, sulph, and dexies. As a powder form, it is often snorted or wrapped up in a piece of paper and swallowed. Some might inject it or just put it in their drink. They have a high potential for abuse and dependency. Users become drawn in by the sense of euphoria and their increased energy levels.

When used recreationally, amphetamine highs make a person feel excited and energetic. When abused chronically, it can quickly lead to a tolerance. It will then take more of the drug to experience the same effects. Snorting or injecting amphetamines will produce stronger effects, which put users at higher risk of overdose and addiction.

When used recreationally, a person will get the high and experience the effects. They can take it or leave it. If they overuse it, it can quickly cause a dependency. There is an intense physical and psychological craving with amphetamine addiction. This is because the body’s chemicals adjust to having the drug in the body. When it isn’t present, the body doesn’t work optimally. Cravings can last for weeks while depression can last for months.

A recreational user will feel a ‘down bake’ when the drug wears off. They may even experience slight depression. An addict will be convinced that they’re unable to function without it. They see normal life as depressing in comparison to how they feel when they’re high. They become psychologically dependent on the drug because it prevents them from feeling uncomfortable emotions.


Methamphetamines are a stronger form of amphetamines. They create a long lasting high that is intense. Equally as intense is the come down which is what can cause recreational users to become addicts. The high lasts from 4-12 hours. Users feel energetically charged and fully awake. Meth is an appetite suppressant, making users feel less hungry.

The crystal form of the drug is called crystal meth or ice. On the streets, it’s called yaba, meth, crank, or glass. There is also 4-methylamphateamine which is nicknamed Ket Phet.

National Geographic did a documentary on methamphetamines, shedding light on what this drug did to people’s lives. Crystal meth is known to cause arousal in users which leads to risky sexual behavior. Meth makes people feel jittery, anxious, agitation, and suspiciousness. This can lead to aggressiveness, which can lead to violence. It can cause extreme psychosis or depression. Some may even experience suicidal thoughts.

Like amphetamines, a recreational drug user will feel the withdrawal symptoms of depression and exhaustion. It will usually only last for a day or two. When someone develops an addiction however, withdrawal symptoms are far more intense and last much longer.


Cannabis is one of the recreational drugs that aren’t traditionally considered to cause a full blown addiction. Marijuana has become legalized for it’s many medicinal qualities. The legalization has actually reduced the percentage of recreational users. This is what studies have shown but it’s hard to speculate what the long term results will be. You can take a marijuana quiz to gauge your dependence on it.

Street names include hash, weed, pot, dope, grass, puff, chronic, and skunk. It is often rolled with smoking papers and smoked. It can also be cooked into food or used in a vaporizer. It has been shown to be effective for fighting against cancer, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, and other illnesses when the dosages are correct.

Recreational users will indulge in cannabis in a social situation but don’t take part in it all the time. When used occasionally, it usually makes a user feel very relaxed and happy. The mind can wander off into deep thoughts. This can result in paranoia if the person falls into a negative state of mind.

When someone becomes dependent on it, they will smoke chronically. Many people will wake up and smoke a joint when they get out of bed. They say that it makes them feel normal. They will often experience a constant feeling of paranoia or anxiety when using it all the time. It can put a user at greater risk of developing mental illnesses like schizophrenia and mood disorders like clinical depression. They may also disassociate from people they care about. The brain doesn’t function properly and it’s challenging to concentrate and remember things. The longer and more frequent someone uses cannabis, the more these symptoms become apparent.

The body and mind become tolerant to cannabis in the system. This can create withdrawal symptoms when the person no longer has it in their system. They may become anxious and irritable. They also have problems sleeping and may experience gastrointestinal issues. It’s been found that users have less dopamine production on their own as well. This also suggests that addiction is possible. People commonly admit themselves into drug rehabilitation to help them detox and recover from Cannabis.


There are many different kinds of opioids that are being used as recreational drugs. Some are illicit like heroin and others are prescription painkillers like Percocet. All opioids have the same effect on the brain. Heroin is the most potent and works quickly with a shorter half life. The thing is, if someone has developed an addiction to an opioid painkiller, they often make no distinction with heroin and their pills for pain. They become addicted and so they make no distinction. Any opioid addiction should be treated properly with detox and rehabilitation.

Here are some of the various types of opioids that are being used recreationally:


Brands include Percocet and OxyContin. It is prescribed for the relief of moderate to severe pain. It is combined with other drugs but there’s also a prescription medication that is strictly oxycodone. This is what is known as hillbilly heroin. OxyContin was once widely prescribed until it became apparent that the drug was extremely addictive and was causing people to turn to heroin on the streets.


Morphine is highly addictive and it is rare that recreational users will remain that way for long. It is extremely addictive as the brain becomes accustomed to the increase of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Recreationally, a person will experience “coming down” and will feel depressed for a few days. Addiction is much more challenging. Withdrawal symptoms become too much to deal with and will usually result in the need for professional detox.

Morphine has street names such as H, smack, brown, and skag. It is the primary chemical component in opium. Using it can create a high that people will like if they’re trying to numb physical or emotional pain. The body will begin to develop a tolerance if a person uses it recreationally at a frequent rate. Users will need to take more in order to get the same high they once did. Reinforced brain patterns will then start to develop. Addiction has set in when a user begins to obsess about when they can use again. They will stop being responsible and their character will begin to change. Risky behaviors may ensure such as committing crimes to obtain morphine.


Heroin has become a household drug sadly. As it’s so available and cheap, the face of users have changed. Recreational use of heroin can become addiction just one time of using. It is dangerously addictive. The medical form of heroin is known as diamorphine. It is an extremely powerful painkiller that is usually reserved for the terminally ill.

Heroin addiction is one of the worst kind of addictions. The body and mind deteriorates quickly and the user will do anything to get the drug. As it’s often injected, users are susceptible to getting hepatitis or HIV.


Oxymorphone is just one of many opioids on this list of recreational drugs. It’s prescribed for severe pain that would otherwise not be controlled with other medications. It is an opiate analgesic and one of the semi-synthetic painkillers. The brand it’s usually sold under the name Opana but has been available under other names since it started being prescribed in 1959.

Oxymorphone works by relieving pain through manipulating how the body responds to pain. Recreational drug use and even chronic use can create a tolerance to it. The user will have to take more of the drug to get the desired effect. Not only does it relieve pain but it also offers a powerful high. Opana recreational users have reported feelings of euphoria and a sense of well-being. This further causes the risk for addiction. People that recreationally abuse the drug will crush and snort pills for a greater high. Once addiction takes control, people will have a psychological and physiological dependence to it. Signs of addiction to Oxymorphone include:

  • Crushing up pills.
  • Buying illicit opioids on the street to supplement your prescription.
  • Trying to get more of the drug by doctor shopping.
  • Coming up with fake injuries to get more painkillers prescribed to you.
  • Mixing other substance with the drug.

Oxymorphone is a derivative of morphine which has shown to be highly addictive. Working in the same way, it works on the central nervous system, depressing it. This is what creates the euphoric, relaxing feeling. Opioid receptors in the brain and body are affected, interfering with neurotransmitters. The drug does the work that the brain once did to provide the user with natural chemicals. So once dependency occurs, the brain stops producing those necessary chemicals to maintain balance. This is what causes the difficulty and becomes the main difference between just using an opioid occasionally and becoming addicted to it.


Methadone is a legal opioid that is used as replacement therapy for dependency to other opioids. It is also a painkiller. The problem is methadone can become a problem for recovery from addiction because it too is addictive. Many times, opioids are interchangeable. What should be a solution becomes the problem and an addiction to a different type of opioid morphs. This is the case with methadone. When administered properly, it can be helpful but using it recreationally can cause dependence and addiction.

Prescriptions for methadone have risen over the past few years as it’s a popular painkiller. This is causing an effect where more people have access to it as a recreational drug. For those who use it recreationally, they will take higher doses of methadone. This is risky as it creates a higher chance or addiction or overdose. As a recreational drug, it will be administered in ways that make it work differently. Instead of taking a pill, users may crush it into a powder and inject, smoke or snort it.

Methadone addiction puts users more at risk for overdose. The Center for Disease Control says that over 30% of overdose deaths caused by prescription painkillers could be attributed to methadone. It is estimated that an average of 5,000 people in the US die from methadone overdose every year.

Addiction to any opioid is a severe psychiatric disorder. Methadone binds to receptors in the brain the same way heroin does. It stays in the body for up to three days and blocks euphoric effects of stronger opiate drugs. There is a risk of physical dependence where withdrawing causes uncomfortable symptoms.


What are the Characteristics of a Recreational User?

Take a look at the following characteristics of a recreational user and see if you fit the in this category.

A recreational drug user can easily say no to situations where drugs are offered to him. This is primarily because he or she sees the use of drugs and alcohol as potential problems that could ruin his life.

A recreational user generally has good relationships with family, friends and coworkers who are primarily non-users. He or she enjoys these relationships.

A recreational drug user doesn’t depend on the drug for personal power, such as he would never think of taking them for gaining extra confidence, for libido power or for hope.

They also rarely think about drugs and the next high during the day.

A casual substance user is wise with money, thinking twice about using hard-earned cash for drugs when other expenses are calling for the funds.


What are the Characteristics of an Addicted User?

Drug users could find themselves in a situation where they have become an addicted user. Here are the characteristics of this type of user:

At this point, there’s been plenty of time to see that using drugs may be (falsely) connected with the illusion of more power in personal relationships, extra libido power or makes them in some way feel they are more joyful or have more hope.

An addicted drug user has a much more difficult time saying no to situations when they are offered drugs.

They are now more involved in new relationships with other users and are forsaking their non-drug user friends. Relationships are chaotic, both the new ones and the old ones.

An addict will have relationships that are going downhill fast, as arguments always seem to play a central role in the relationships.

An addict will choose to buy drugs at all costs.

Drugs and the next high are thought about all day long.

What It Means To Be Addicted to Cocaine, Meth, Alcohol or Heroin According to the Psychology Profession

The psychologists have a book called the DSM, which lists all the criteria for diagnosing someone that is officially “addicted”.

The problem with this way of determining whether or not you are addicted is that you will have to wait a whole year to be diagnosed. The criteria states you have the ‘requirements’ for 12 months before you are addicted.

However, some drugs such as amphetamine and cocaine can make you instantly addicted so the damage accumulates over those 12 months.

The DSM Criteria for Addiction includes:

  • the buildup of tolerance to the drug
  • the presence of withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the drug
  • You have to take greater and greater amounts of the drug.
  • You try to stop using but can’t without help from an addiction treatment center.
  • You spend a good amount of time trying to get more drugs and look for situations to use it.
  • You stop spending time with non-user friends.
  • You keep using the drug even though you know it’s causing you physical and psychological problems.

Avoiding or Dealing with Addiction

Recreational drug use is common. There are many drugs that people use for various reasons. That usage can become addiction. Some drugs like heroin can be a one-time only usage that will cause addiction. Others take more time. While using drugs for recreational purposes may seem harmless, it is what can lead to addiction.

An addiction is not just something you can manage on your own. It’s a disease that requires specific measures for recovery to happen successfully. If you need addiction resources in Colorado, give AspenRidge Recovery a call today and discuss what’s available to you… Know that you’re not alone, there are many recreational users who have become addicted and go for addiction help.

If you have been a recreational drug user of the above list or have become addicted to a drug, we would like to hear your story. If you need help with drug abuse or addiction, please call AspenRidge Recovery today.

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