use, abuse & dependency explained
Use | Abuse | Dependency
Believe it or not, some people don’t like speed. They try it once or twice and decide it’s not for them. These people ‘used’ speed. Other people try it, like it but don’t want to do it very often. A couple of times a year is just fine with them and they’re able to keep it to that. Others like it ‘too much’ and know they’ve got to limit the times that they do it. These are all example of people who use crystal.
The important feature of substance use is that it doesn’t lead to significant consequences, as does abuse or dependency. Keep in mind is that even if someone uses highly addictive substances like speed, or nicotine, they can quickly cross the lines into abuse or dependency ??? sometimes without knowing they’ve just crossed that line. There are no guarantees…using speed can be like playing with fire.
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The basic difference between substance use and substance abuse is the fall-out that happens with substance abuse. The tell-tale signs of abuse are:
1. When using ??? or recovering from use ??? causes you to be unable to fulfill a major obligation in your life ??? either at home, work, school or with friends. For instance:
||calling in sick to work often
||being too crashed or too high to perform at work
||cancelling on friends
||not paying your bills
||missing classes at school
It’s not that this happens every once in a while ??? we all fall down on our obligations from time to time. It becomes substance abuse when that it’s happening often and the main reason is because of drugs.
2. Using has a strong, negative psychological impact on you. And we’re talking about more than just the crash ??? we mean strong feelings of shame, regret or embarrassment about what you do when you’re high or the fact that you got high again. It could also be about grief about having lost a friend or a job because of your use.
3. You continue to use even though you’re catching shit from your friends. This could mean always getting in the same argument with them or that you keep losing friends. Or because you feel like you’ve got to avoid friends and family because you’re either high or crashing.
4. You continue to use even though while using you keep putting yourself in physically dangerous situations. This can mean having the kind of sex that puts you at physical risk of getting HIV, hurt or raped. Or, it could mean driving while intoxicated, going to dangerous parts of town, etc.
5. Legal problems start cropping up. This can range from being busted to getting a DUI ??? or from not having enough money for bills, to being arrested for public intoxication.
For tips about how to cut back your use of speed, click here.
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Dependency is often used interchangeably with addiction. Dependency simply means that you would have a hard time living or functioning without the substance, and that either using or not using is causing significant distress. What can be confusing is that the difficulties with giving up the drug could come and go throughout the day, week or month. It doesn’t have to be all the time.
Here’s another way to think about dependency. For the sex to be hot, I have to be high. Translation: Hot sex is dependent on speed. Or having fun is dependent on ______. My sanity depends on ______.
These are the most common red flags of dependency:
1. Tolerance ??? your body’s gotten used to the drug, so that:
||To get off, you need to do a lot more than you used to. A bump just isn’t what it used to be.
||You can do a quarter in one night when half that much used to send you to the moon.
||Snorting used to do the trick. Then smoking it was the only way to go. Now shooting it is the only way you think you feel anything.
2. You use more and more just to avoid the crash.
3. You use more and more frequently.
4. More often than not, you wind up doing more speed than you intended.
5. More often than not, you stay high for longer than you intended.
6. There is a persistent desire to control your use.
7. There have been unsuccessful attempts to stop using.
8. A great deal of time is consumed by the drug –either being high, getting it or recovering from it.
9. You give up (or practically give up) important social, recreational or work related activities because of using.
10. You use even though you know you have a problem and/or that speed keeps bringing problems into your life.
For tips about how to quit using speed, click here. For resources in the San Francisco area, click here.