What Is the Difference Between Addiction and Abuse?

Drug or alcohol addiction is a diagnosable disease characterized by several factors including a strong craving for drugs/alcohol, continued use despite harm or personal injury, the inability to limit drug use/drinking, physical illness when using stops, and the need to increase the amount used in order to feel the effects.Abuse is a pattern of drug use/drinking that result in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships or ability to work. Certain manifestations of abuse include failure to fulfill responsibilities at work, school or home; using/drinking in dangerous situations such as while driving; legal problems associated with drug/alcohol use, and continued use despite problems that are caused or worsened by drug use/drinking. Abuse can lead to addiction.