Difference between drug abuse and misuse depends on the person’s intentions when taking the drug. Both drug abuse and drug misuse must be unsafe and even lethal to a person. Often, these terms abuse and misuse are used interchangeably, but there are some differences.
Table of Contents
Drug Abuse vs Drug Misuse
Table of contents
- Causes of drug abuse and misuse.
- Effects of drug abuse and misuse.
- Class of drugs that mainly abused and misused.
- Examples of drug abuse and misuse.
- Finally, 11 differences between drug abuse and misuse.
Definition of drug abuse and misuse
Drug abuse refers to the inappropriate, excessive and persistent use of a drug for non-therapeutic purposes. It means the use of a CNS active drug usually by self-medication in a manner that deviates from the acceptable medical and social use in a given society. In other words, the term abuse means self-medication of drugs for non-therapeutic purposes, almost always for altering consciousness. Most noteworthy, long term abuse and misuse of any drugs is harmful and may express various signs and symptoms that direct a mental or physical disease.
Moreover, according to USFDA, drug abuse is the non-medical use of a drug, repeatedly or even sporadically, for the positive psychoactive effects it produces .
On the other hand, drug misuse means taking a drug other than CNS active drug in a wrong indication, in wrong dosages, for a duration other than a medical prescription.
According to USFDA, drug misuse is the use of a drug outside label directions or in a way other than prescribed or directed by a healthcare practitioner.
In other words, misuse is the improper and unintentional use of either non-prescribed or prescribed medications wherein the medication is taken for therapeutic purposes only and not to obtain psychotropic (such as euphoric, anxiolytic, or sedative) effects.
Causes of drug abuse and misuse
Causes of Drug abuse
- To relieve anxiety, tension, depression, or sometimes recreation.
- For rebelling against or despair about orthodox social values and the environment.
- For fun, amusement, recreation, and excitement.
- To increase the unique sensation.
- To obtain psychotropic (such as sedative, euphoric, or anxiolytic) effects [2,3].
- For altering the mood.
- Mental health disorder.
- Curiosity and social pressure.
- To maintain an addiction.
Besides causes of misuse
- Inappropriate health education
- Accidental causes
Effects of drug abuse and misuse
Drug abuse leads to
- Drug addiction
- Drug dependence
Firstly, a person simply takes a drug especially CNS active drug. It produces drug habituation. Then it results in drug addiction, lastly drug dependence. Drug abuse has effects on the brain and other physical and mental health problems.
While, effects of misuse depend on the type of drug, dose, and dosage. Misuse may produce an acute effect or chronic effect. In addition, misuse may alter wakefulness, appetite, heart diseases, psychosis as well as alter normal biological functions and even be lethal to a person.
Class of drug that mainly abused and misused
Class of drug that mainly abused includes:
- Narcotics: Opioid, Morphine, Oxycodone, Codeine, Heroin, and Pethidine
- CNS stimulant: Barbiturates, Phenobarbital
- Psychostimulant: Amphetamine, YABA, and Nicotine
- Alcohol: Ethanol
- Marijuana, hashish and other cannabis-containing substances
- Others: Khat, Glues, etc.
Besides, the Class of drugs misused includes:
Any drugs cause misuse if they take without prescribed direction.
Examples of drug abuse and misuse
A person knows that by taking the drug, especially at higher doses, he will get euphoric or pleasant feelings. This is an example of drug abuse because the person taking an inappropriate, excessive and persistent dose of a drug for non-therapeutic purposes.
A person taking a prescribed drug without following prescription directions or direction from healthcare providers such as a physician says take a Linagliptin 5 mg tablet once daily but a person taking sometimes twice daily. This is one kind of drug misuse. Do you know the difference between drug and medicine?
In short, the difference between drug abuse and misuse
|Features||Drug Abuse||Drug Misuse|
|Definition||Drug abuse refers to the inappropriate, excessive and persistent use of a drug for non-therapeutic purposes.||Drug misuse means taking a drug other than CNS active drug in a wrong indication, in wrong dosages, for a duration other than a medical prescription.|
|Reasons||To relieve anxiety, tension, depression, for fun, amusement, recreation, and excitement as well as to obtain psychotropic (such as sedative, euphoric, or anxiolytic) effects.||Self-medication, ignorance, inappropriate health education and accidental causes.|
|Class of drug||Narcotics, CNS stimulant, and Psychostimulant||Any class of drugs except CNS active drug|
|Incidence||Deliberately occur||Unintentionally occur|
|Drug type||Illegal drugs or without prescription drug||Legal drugs with violating prescribed directions|
|Purpose of use||Non-therapeutic purposes||Therapeutic purposes|
|Amount of Dose||Higher doses||Either low or high|
|Effects||Leads to addiction, habituation and drug dependency||Not lead to addition, habituation and drug dependency|
|Risks||More dangerous||Less dangerous|
|Management||Time taken to manage||Easy to manage|
Also, you may read:
- Difference between Synthesis and Biosynthesis
- Pharmacokinetics vs Pharmacodynamics
- Difference between Hospital and Clinic
- Poison vs Toxin
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. [Accessed January 2020]; Assessment of abuse potential of drugs. 2010 Jan; Available from: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM198650.pdf.
- Cicero TJ, Dart RC, Inciardi JA, Woody GE, Schnoll S, Munoz A. The development of a comprehensive risk-management program for prescription opioid analgesics: researched abuse, diversion, and addiction-related surveillance (RADARS) Pain Med. 2007; 8(2):157–170.
- Smith SM, Dart RC, Katz NP, et al. Classification and definition of misuse, abuse, and related events in clinical trials: ACTTION systematic review and recommendations. Pain. 2013; 154(11):2287–2296.