Substance Abuse and Prescription Medications

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Drug-seeking and other behavior that is consistent with addiction but actually results from inadequate pain relief. Once the pain is adequately treated, the person no longer abuses the medication.
Psychological dependence (addiction)
A set of psychological symptoms that demonstrate overall loss of control or obsessive compulsive drug-seeking and continued use of a substance in spite of clearly adverse consequences. Symptoms may include specific physiological signs of dependence such as increasing tolerance or withdrawal signs and symptoms when the drug is discontinued.
Physiological Dependence
Increasing tolerance for a drug, withdrawal signs and symptoms when a drug is discontinued, or the continued use of a substance to avoid withdrawal.
Substance Abuse
Prescription Medications
A maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by one or more behaviorally based criteria.
Incorrect use of a medication by patients, who may use a drug for a purpose other than that for which it was prescribed, take too little or too much of a drug, take it too often, or take it for too long
Nonmedical Use
Use of prescription drugs that were not prescribed by a medical professional or use for the experience or feeling a drug causes.
Differences among Nonmedical Use of Prescriptions, Misuse, Abuse, Physiological Dependence, Psychological Dependence (Addiction), and Pseudoaddiction
Source: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Prescription Medications: Misuse, Abuse, Dependence, and Addiction, Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory, 2006, Volume 5, Issue 2

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