Define what is meant by drug abuse and alcoholism.  Include in your answer a discusion of the notions of dependence and tolerance? No

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Drug abuse is defined as using a legal, illegal or non-medical substance for the purpose of achieving a "high".  This can occur when a person takes a prescribed medication in ways that are not prescribed, when a person uses over the counter medication inappropriately to manufacture other substances such as meth-amphetemine, or when persons use cocaine, marijuana, heroine, LSD, etc...for the purpose of getting high.

Drug dependence has two forms: psychological and physical. Drugs that cause physical dependency are known to be addictive substances. These are narcotics, pain medications, opioids, alcohol, and meth-amphetemine.  Marijuana is known to cause psychological dependency. That means, the user will not experience physicla withdrawal symptoms if the drug is not available.

Alcoholism is the use of alcohol in such a way that it interferes with the other life functions of the user in a negative manner. Alcoholism is known as the disease of being addicted to alcohol. The disease model of treating the addiction to alcohol has been very successful and helpful in education addicts about the nature of the substance, the causes, and the avoidance of further damage due to addiction. Alcoholism has been shown to have some genetic linkages.   Alcohol is a drug that is legal for consumption by persons in the U.S. age 21 and up. So, it is possible to be addicted to alcohol and still remain at a job as long as no legal issues result related to the consumption of alcohol.


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stephcooper19 | Student

 Addicts can damage their mental and physical well-being right along with any friendships or working relationships they may have through their abuse of alcohol. Regardless of age, North Carolina has people of all ages who are currently struggling with alcoholism and are in need of detox services to cleanse their bodies of alcohol prior to starting alcohol addiction treatment.

If you or someone you care about is dealing with alcoholism or alcohol abuse problems they’re struggling to overcome, finding some form of medical care and supervision during detox is the safest way to handle the potential health drawbacks that can occur as a result of alcohol withdrawal.

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tutorjim | Student

The phrase drug abuse relates to a person’s use of prescribed medication and/or illicit substances in a manner which is deemed to affect both their physical and psychological health. This definition applies to both alcohol and other drugs. The phrase alcoholism is an antiquated phrase utilised to describe a person who has an alcohol dependency, and can trace its roots back to the prohibition movements popular in the early 20th century, and indicates that the person suffering from the alcohol dependency has no control over their misuse. Modern therapeutic concepts put the onus on the dependant person looking to change, so the concept of the dependency being a disease is not very useful as it allows the person to opt out of taking responsibility for their actions and by default their behaviours.


Dependence as a term refers to the normalisation of a behaviour in which the person who is using substances becomes normalised to the process of using drugs.

An easy way to think of this is to think about how we use coffee, usually first thing in the morning to “wake us up”, this is how a dependant substance user will view their drug of choice whether it is alcohol or heroin, they always need to shoot up, have a drink to “square themselves” before they start their day. The substance has become almost normal in the way they consume it.

Tolerance is a word used to describe how used to a substance someone has become.
Tolerance is basically when someone needs to take more of a substance to continue to feel the same way. This can be seen if we look at how people utilise heroin.

The majority of people first dabble in heroin through smoking or “chasing the dragon”, the next hit they take is never as good as the first, and in some cases won’t last as long, so to compensate, they increase the amount of heroin they smoke, eventually in some cases they start to inject, as it is a better hit and this cycle continues.  

In his book “living with Drugs”  Michael Gossop uses the example of  200mg of heroin being fatal to a non tolerant user where as a tolerant user may survive overdoses of 350mg. The average medical dose is around 10 mg.