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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

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Is the junkie shooting dope that much different than the alcoholic who drinks a bottle-a-day? Does the addicted brain treat alcohol and drugs the same, or is it a different problem altogether? How much of a similarity exists between a person who abuses alcohol and another who abuses pills, powders, illegal drugs, etc.?This post explores the lengthy controversy over whether drug addiction and alcoholism are the same or different.

Cultural Divide

Perhaps the biggest difference between drug addiction and alcoholism is that alcohol is legal and socially acceptable. Humans have been drinking alcohol, to excess, for thousands of years. While alcoholism isn’t socially approved, it is certainly not as taboo as drug addiction. While drugs like cocaine or amphetamines may make the user more social, they are certainly looked down on by the majority of our society. Because of the illegality of drug usage, finding drugs dealers, buying drugs, and using drugs is more riskier and even dangerous than going to the liquor store or bars.In treatment centers and in 12 step programs, much effort is spent classify someone as an addict or alcoholic. Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that drug addiction shouldn’t be mentioned at meetings. The truth is that the issue of “addict or alcoholic” may not be as important as it seems.

Drug addiction and alcoholism can take people to similar places. They can lead to jail, bankruptcy, divorce, and homelessness. Addicts are prone to overdoses, alcoholics are prone to accidents. A person at the advanced stages of alcoholism sitting next to a seasoned addict would often fool the casual observer.

Scientific Similarities



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