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    Old 09-08-2005, 09:09 PM   #1
    snowdog13
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    Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    What's the difference between use and abuse? If one maintains a job, can afford their drug of choice, does it privately without harming anyone else, is it theoretically possible to use? I realize in this puritanical society, anything pleasurable is a sin, but seriously, what is so wrong with using, as long as you don't hurt anyone else? What about freedom to do to your body what you want? If the argument is that it's harmful to you, so's eating a greasy, cheeseburger, but people do it all the time. Isn't life about experiencing as many things as possible?

    On a side note, used properly, and providing the substance in question comes from a reliable source, isn't the worst that can happen to someone from the illegality?

    I know this board is centered on recovery, and I do recognize that there are people who CANNOT handle certain substances. Isn't better though to legalize all drugs, release all the "criminals", take away the mafias/governments cash cow, and provide FREE treatment to people who need it? Obviously, if the DRACONIAN laws now in place don't stop people from using, nothing will. Why not make treatment free for people who need it, and stop making drug use such a big deal. By keeping it illegal, it makes it COOL and that's what's attractive to kids....

    I hope I didn't anger anyone, but it frustrates me that a small percentage of the drug using population who can't handle their substances, has to ruin a good time for everyone else.

     
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    Old 09-08-2005, 09:27 PM   #2
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by snowdog13
    What's the difference between use and abuse? If one maintains a job, can afford their drug of choice, does it privately without harming anyone else, is it theoretically possible to use? I realize in this puritanical society, anything pleasurable is a sin, but seriously, what is so wrong with using, as long as you don't hurt anyone else? What about freedom to do to your body what you want? If the argument is that it's harmful to you, so's eating a greasy, cheeseburger, but people do it all the time. Isn't life about experiencing as many things as possible?

    On a side note, used properly, and providing the substance in question comes from a reliable source, isn't the worst that can happen to someone from the illegality?

    I know this board is centered on recovery, and I do recognize that there are people who CANNOT handle certain substances. Isn't better though to legalize all drugs, release all the "criminals", take away the mafias/governments cash cow, and provide FREE treatment to people who need it? Obviously, if the DRACONIAN laws now in place don't stop people from using, nothing will. Why not make treatment free for people who need it, and stop making drug use such a big deal. By keeping it illegal, it makes it COOL and that's what's attractive to kids....

    I hope I didn't anger anyone, but it frustrates me that a small percentage of the drug using population who can't handle their substances, has to ruin a good time for everyone else.
    I think it's alot to do with the "allhellbreaksloose" fear, which isn't unfounded because many people who think they can control drugs find out they ultimately can't many times. And the drug effects usually involve loss of inhibition, which can be a bad thing in the wrong situations.

    Continued exposure to drugs causes eventual downregulation of brain receptors, which is basically receptor death. If it continues, vital receptors that balance functions like sleep, mood, hormones, heartrate, etc. are compromised. When this happens, sometimes some form of mental illness may follow or a severe health problem.

    This is a culmative effect sometimes; for example, a person can do his or her drug for years then one day they freak or become mentally ill aka depression, bi-polar, schizophrenic, etc. Or that one day fateful day when they don't realize how impaired they are from using and might end up causing an accident that hurts not only them but innocent people.

    You can't predict everyone's reactions and future reactions to drugs; lots of people may have less of a hard time with drugs than others since everyone has different metabolism, body chemistry, etc. It's a lottery of chances; some win, some lose.

    I think a free-for-all drug society might be very dangerous for alot of people.

    I mean really, can we trust people not to do drugs while they drive, babysit, operate machinery, have guns, etc? A society of people and children even with drug impaired judgements could be hazardeous for them and many other innocent people who might be involved.

    Your are right; people still use anyway even with the laws but at least the numbers are reduced somewhat by the laws and that ultimately saves lives.

    Last edited by Jennita; 09-08-2005 at 09:30 PM.

     
    Old 09-08-2005, 09:28 PM   #3
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    I'm afraid I don't understand your position on use vs abuse. Especially after I read all of your postings. Do you really believe that just because some one can function as you described - job, etc... and take drugs that they aren't addicts. I can tell you from experience. I functioned for a long time in the medical field and I'm a crack addict. But eventually it got me. I've watched functional alcoholics and addicts (of many type of drugs) that functioned their entire lives and died never having admitted their problem. I'm not mad at you but you sure stirred up something because I totally disagree with what you said except the part about teens thinking it's cool. I'll have to think on this some more and get back to ya. Have a good night.

     
    Old 09-08-2005, 11:04 PM   #4
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    Thanks for replying. I'm sort of playing Devil's Advocate because I've had my struggles with coke for about twenty years. Yet, I've never done anything like stealing or prostitution to support my habit. I've lied to loved ones about my use so they don't worry and so I don't have to hear their mouths, but even when I was bad, I was always in control enough to hold down a job, pay all my bills, etc. Last year, in what has to be the stupidiest attempt to stop using coke you'll ever hear, I started using Dilaudid instead. For some paradoxical reason, Dilauded made me feel speedy. I know it's an opiate, but I think I have ADD or something, because I had trouble sleeping---it made me feel so UP. I liked the feeling, I was able to work longer, harder. I felt great. Then the physical addiction kicked in, and I realized my little coke dabbling was NOTHING compared to an opiate addiction. The irony is: I hate opiates (especially heroin---that crap makes me puke and so out of it, I couldn't get off the couch.) I went on Suboxone to get off the opiates, and have been taking sub for about a year at less and less a dose every week. Eventually, I'm going to quit, but I feel like human beings are addictive creatures. We all have to have something to be addicted to. Not just drugs. Some people are work aholics, some go to Church, and some, go to recovery meetings. Although I like everyone I've met on here, the idea of spending time in a hall listening to dope stories all night does not rank up there with my idea of a great time. NA seems like a weird cult, and it sucks to think about having to waste all that time sitting in a room being bored out of my mind.

    I want to be honest on this site without hurting people's feelings, so I feel guilty writing the above, but feel I've got to get that off my chest.

    I wonder when I quit suboxone, if my cravings for coke will come back. Is it better to be on a tiny bit of suboxone, or to do a little coke at night, once a week, with no one watching and then just come down and be done? (I'd only do three shots, and then that's it. Once you're high, it's just a waste of brain cells, time, and money.)

    The truth is: I've been around drugs for so long now, that life without them scares me. That's pathetic to say, but as lame as it is, dope has always been a comfort to me. It's always been there even when no one else could be counted on. When I used to hate to be alone, it kept me company. When other's let me down, betrayed me, made me feel I wasn't worth loving, Dope let me not care anyway. That was the freedom it provided, even while it was quietly imprisoning me. It's so weird to me that living without drugs seems like the "unknown" !

    What I'm wondering is: Can someone use in a controlled way, and live a normal life? No one has ever done it? I've been around it long enough that I don't binge anymore. Isn't it possible to be even more in control if you know what to expect?

    You're in the medical field (dr. or Nurse), does EVERYONE die?

     
    Old 09-09-2005, 03:43 AM   #5
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    Snowdog, anyone who uses/abuses will eventually find themselves out of control. The drug always wins in the long run. IT has control, NOT you. Even though you blew my mind with your post, don't feel guilty for EVER being honest about how you feel. That's what is so great about these boards. You can speak exactly what you feel here. By reading what you wrote, it sounds like to me that you are having concerns about your drug use. Otherwise, why would you be here? Listen to what you are saying about why you use. It's easier for you to get high than to deal with real life. That is probably the #1 reason people end up using or drinking. Have you ever talked with a therapist? You may THINK you're covering up, but I guarantee you that people around you are definitely aware of your drug use. You sound like a very lonely and sad person. Is this what you call living a normal life? Personally, there is no such thing as "normal". We all have problems, hurts, skeletons in our closet, struggles, tragedies. It's not called normal, it's called LIFE. The best way to learn coping skills is to talk about your feelings/problems. You're not alone. No one is super human. I know that I will be thinking about you the rest of the day. I don't know if you are a spiritual person or not, but I will pray for you today. Keep us posted. We're all here for you, and we care about you.

     
    Old 09-09-2005, 04:16 AM   #6
    goddessgrl65
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    Very intersting post/thread..
    i used to think the same thing..i wasn't THAT bad cos i was a functioning addict-i did not steal/prostitute..yes..i lied.
    You refer Snowdog-to our puritanical society..you are right-we were founded on staunch morality-yet..presently we live in a "drug society"-so many people are now medicated..whether prescribed/or self..medicating-starting in the formative years..it is not a moral issue.Its a social problem-a symptom of a world gone mad..
    Im not anti-drug..or medication..its a personal choice..
    The legal issue is difficult-regulation-of drugs..decriminalisation-and treatment need to be considered..as possible alternatives..to incarceration.
    Depending on the state..if you are living in a zero-tolerance state-you can end up in jail for 20 years..
    It comes down to "not living the way we are supposed to-our fast moving-over stimulated world-of TV/visuals/fast paced and competitive jobs/financial worries/-us..humans..are medicating "life"..in the 21st century.
    And we start young-9-13..is when many of us-experiment w/ tobacco/alcohol-and ultimately pot..etc..so-to find ourselves in our 30s addicted to opiates/cocaine-or painkillers-is the progression of addiction.We need stronger substances to work for us.
    We feel guilt/depression/and lose our soul and spirit-to these chemicals-we become antisocial-and ultimately-live "outside of society"..fringe/fallout..
    Thats the problem-we really are not fully functioning-we exist-from one fix to the next-everything in between loses meaning-
    The job/family/spirituality-become secondary to the drugs.
    it doesn't work.
    Im on sub..too-currently feeling my taper-and detox-
    if i sound a little off-i am..
    but im getting off the drugs now-and ready to grow up..
    at 46 yrs old..
    not for society or anyone else but for my quality of life/and my loved ones.
    God Bless us all...
    ggrl

    Last edited by goddessgrl65; 09-09-2005 at 04:25 AM.

     
    Old 09-09-2005, 06:10 AM   #7
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    Gosh, this posts sounds like me a few years back before I got sober. Snowdog, I didn't do much harm to others through my using and I thought much the same as you did, but the real problem was that my life was just about going from one buzz to another. Yes I had money, a partner, friends (mainly other drug users and drinkers) and a great house and I was functioning quite well (except the last year or two.) All that I had in my life was not making my happy and the drugs were starting to turn on me as I struggled to maintain a reasonable intake. In the end I had to give in an ended up high 24/7!

    Fortunatly I found recovery once I released how powerless I was over the drink and drugs and how unmanageable my life was because of my using. I released things wouldn't just get better around the next corner, the illusion collasped, but with it I was then prepared to try 12 step recovery, because my attempts on "Normal living" had failed.

    Keep searching and asking WHY snowdrop and I'm sure you will understand your predicament more and more with time, I wish the best in the meantime.....

     
    Old 09-09-2005, 07:49 AM   #8
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    Drugs will get you in the end. No matter how smart or responsible you were when you were using them. They are the devil and they will eventually destroy you. I know that sounds harsh but that is what I believe and have witnessed.

     
    Old 09-09-2005, 09:29 AM   #9
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    In some ways I find this to be a quite thought provoking post.

    I know for me and if I was to theoretically apply this to others, I think eventually most of us would not be able to continue a so called recreational or controlled use of drugs, that eventually you cross the line to uncontrolled abuse. That’s how I got started, weekend use, one day per weekend, which led to two days per weekend, then Friday, Saturday and Sunday and finally to every day of the week. Just my thoughts.

    My other thought is I know when I was using opiates that I was convinced I could rationally apply thoughts and logic in day to day activities such as work or home life, etc… What I found out after getting off drugs is what I thought was a sound rational logical mind and process was actually quite the opposite. I was very much off in many aspects of my thought processes, logic and rationalization. Just a thought.

    Maybe you should try for a specified amount of time like a year or so what life is like without any use of drugs. Compare the results of life without and with drugs. Sounds like you have been on the drug side for so long that the non drug side may be buried to deep in your memories. Then you can make an educated and informed decision.

    Remember, what may be perceived as reality may be furthest from actuality.

    And you may need to stay on the Sub permanently. The approach to this is this is along the lines of blood pressure meds or some other drug needed to treat a medical situation. To me this would be an alternative to using the coke, if the Sub controls the cravings and you can eliminate the use of coke with the use of Sub, then that would seem to be a fair trade off. I know there are many (VeryLucky for example) who are committed to using Sub for the rest of their lives given nothing else was able to resolve their issues. Each of us is different and many don’t need Sub for the duration, but I’m sure there are many who do so, kind of like life, we are all different and require different solutions to resolve the puzzle.

    Sorry if I rambled.

    Take care

    phil

     
    Old 09-09-2005, 01:34 PM   #10
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    Hi Snowdog. I think that people here will tell you that drugs will always get you in the end and that drugs cannot be controlled because that is there experience. Of course I'm not going to say that all drugs are harmless, I'm just saying that some people can control their use. It's just like some people have to smoke 2 packs a day and other people can smoke only when they want to. Just like people drink alcohol in different amounts and at different frequency. That proves my point. Alchohol is a drug that can be taken and controlled my many people. Some people can't, but many people can. Some drugs like pot are completely non addictive for most people. I'm not advocating drug use, but to answer your original question, It is possible for some people to use drugs recreationaly, and continue to fully function as a normal human being.

     
    Old 09-09-2005, 01:40 PM   #11
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    I agree with everyone here, the drug wins eventually.

    And you asked, does everyone die? Well, no. But there are worse things than death; a life of misery and illness would be one thing. My uncle had a blast smoking cigarettes since he was a teen, always had the attitude we are going to die anyway!

    But looking back he spent 2/3 rds of his life on medications, in hospitals etc. from the effects of his smoking, so his quality of life while he was here wasn't very pleasant.

    Ironically, the cigarettes never caused him to get cancer. But they caused him to eventually not be able to breathe without a powerful medication that eventually caused him to get diabetes (a side effect); the smoking caused him to have angioplasty. So most of his life was in sickness because of his smoking.

    The damage drugs, smoking and alcohol can do doesn't always kill but may force one to live a life of misery, decreased quality and happiness.

    Anyway, the issue of "control" of drugs reminds me of a funny picture I saw once....in it was two pilots in a cockpit of a large plane looking back towards the camera, or facing the viewer, with big smiles on their faces.... and in the background was a small plane heading right towards them. The caption read: "Everythings under control".

     
    Old 09-09-2005, 02:59 PM   #12
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    I think this is a very interesting question. I used to think the same SnowDog, and I guess now I think that SOME drugs can be controlled and others can't. For instance, I am all for the legalization of marijuana. That is a drug that causes FAR less harm than alcohol does, and is a waste of time to prosecute over. Other drugs, such as opiates, cannot be controlled. It's the nature of the drug, not the person. Even if you just look at the simple issue of tolerance, which opiate users have to contend with. Having to get an increasingly large amount, with increasingly desperate motivation to do so, just does not work. I think opiates should remain illegal for the same reason that antibiotics should never be available over the counter. If you misuse an antibiotic (by not finishing a dose for example) you eventually render it a worthless drug, because a virus will evolve to become resistant.
    So will your brain to opiates.
    I can say that I wish I could just run to the 7-11 for a bottle of pain pills, but I guess in the end I know it wouldn't work. And it sounds like your use may be less controlled than you think it is, because you're letting it make you reclusive. Just like goddessgirl said, you are living from one fix to the next, and everything in between is becoming secondary.
    Good luck with that, it was a good question!

     
    Old 09-09-2005, 10:50 PM   #13
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    Thanks to everyone for the kind words, and different opinions. I suppose I should deal with my feelings, and talk to someone, but after all I've seen in the world (for example, in the Philippines),it makes me ashamed to gripe over the relatively minor disappointments in my life. After seeing orphaned children begging in the street, how can I cry over my parent's divorce? I'm embarassed that memories of those times, and the associated feelings of worthlessness I had should be the cause of my drug use, when in actuality I have never truly known REAL suffering. In other words, I've never been abused enough to have a valid excuse for my addiction. I'm a weak person, and I'm ashamed of that. I started to use drugs because they felt good, abolished my depression, made me feel powerful, and paradoxically "in control". I wish I could get in a time machine and slap the **** out of myself for being fascinated by the junkie culture ala William S. Borroughs.

    You can go slum in the ghetto and smoke crack, and feel sorry for yourself, but you can always pick up in the too bright, greasy skinned morning and GO HOME. The crackheads in the ghetto ARE HOME. I'm ashamed that I ever thought that it was cool to be involved with that.

    Now that I have this addiction, I feel like it's a demon I have to pay homage to, in order to make it feel sated and leave me alone. Suboxone definitely helps, but I feel as my dose lowers, the return of the "Jones". Coke dreams and weak, achy bones. Trips to the toilet as my stomach turns to liquid at the thought of getting high. It's pathetic. I am a sad loser. I was born white, into a good middle class home; I have no excuse for my use. (This sounds like a racist statement but I'm hoping it just comes across as a point: Run a remodeling business and my best friend, who is black, works with me. He's worked hard his entire life, and still has to deal with racism within our society. He must look at me and think "What AN IDIOT" for ruining my life by not taking advantage of my privileged birth. If he had been born in my shoes, I know he would have done something great with his life.

    Even though I'm a lowly carpenter, I do love my job. I have a beautiful girlfriend, and two fantastic dogs; I have house and a fairly successful business. How far could I go, if I could just leave all this dumb **** behind. I know LOGICALLY I have to do it, but it's so damn hard emotionally to let go. Why is it?

    Sorry to babble.....thanks to everyone for listening...

     
    Old 09-09-2005, 11:09 PM   #14
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    Hello snowdog. Even though you have been sucesfully using drugs for many years, after your last post, I definately think that you are not someone who can any longer control their drug use. Seriously, please get help. You need to quit.

     
    Old 09-10-2005, 04:53 AM   #15
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    Re: Drug use vc. Abuse? What's the difference.

    Snowdog, you sound just like me. I too feel guilty when I catch myself griping or having a pity party. I look around me and at the world, and I always find someone else dealing with a worse situation. This just reinforces me to "count my blessings" every day. This said, we still have to realize that no matter how small our situation may seem, it still hurts, and we HAVE to talk about it and learn how to deal with it. If we don't, we'll self destruct. I truly believe that through our trials, we become strong and better human beings. What we've done in the past doesn't matter. It's what we do today, and tomorrow that counts. You have a good heart Snowdog, and I can tell you are a caring person. You just took a wrong turn, but that's ok. You'll find your way, just keep searching. You've got a lot of good things going for you. Don't blow it, ok?
    Remember there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
    P.S. I love carpenters! (Jesus was a carpenter too)

     
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