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Some drugs are described as 'non-addictive,'....

  1. DzyMsLizzy profile image95
    DzyMsLizzyposted 7 years ago

    Some drugs are described as 'non-addictive,'....

    ....yet is is said a tolerance to some of them can be built up, requiring increased dosages to maintain the efficacy.  How is that not the same as an addiction?
    I am doing research for an article I plan to write, and do not wish to make erroneous statements.

  2. Alayne Fenasci profile image60
    Alayne Fenasciposted 7 years ago

    Addiction is bigger than building up a tolerance to something. It has more to do with developing a dependence on something. It surpasses voluntary control and is indicated by both physical and psychological trauma effected by withdrawal. In regards to your article, you can probably search for an online medical dictionary that might clear up some of the terms. People use them interchangeably too often. Hope that helps some.

  3. pharmacist profile image89
    pharmacistposted 7 years ago

    Hi.   Good question.

    The distinction I think you are looking for is the distinction between what we call "dependence" and "addiction" in the pharmacy profession.  Tolerance is a slightly different process.

    Dependence is defined by the onset of withdrawal symptoms that begin shortly after a drug is discontinued.  Many drugs produce some form of dependence, and thus need to be slowly tapered during the discontinuation process.

    Addiction adds a psychological element, including "craving" and "pleasure seeking" and the like.  It often includes the use of the drug for purposes not initially intended for (what is sometimes, oddly, called the 'recreational' use of drugs). 

    Hope that helps somewhat.

  4. Wayne Brown profile image83
    Wayne Brownposted 7 years ago

    I am not of the medical field but my best angle on this would be to offer the example of antibiotics. I know of none which are addictive in terms of use but recent findings indicate that over use of them tends to create a neutralizing action in the human system...in other words the body builds its own natural resistance to the particular antibiotic rendering it minimally effective. Thus, a large dose might be required or a different antibiotic prescribed.  There is concern in this area that doctors tend to overuse certain antibioctics and have created an immunity to their effectiveness in a given sector of the population. So while the person is not addicted to them, they find that frequent use renders no real result. Hope that helps you DML...WB

  5. Borsia profile image43
    Borsiaposted 7 years ago

    As others have mentioned.
    Addiction means that you will have a physical reaction if you stop taking the drug. It can include sever psychological reaction as in tobacco.
    Building tolerance differs in that the drug may very well cease to be effective yet have no physical or psychological reaction to stopping the use.
    Note that with many non-addictive drugs if you build tolerance, and keep increasing the dosage, to a very high level there can be side effects to stopping taking them without tapering off the dosage. This is true with many psychotropics, things like Zanex, Welbutrin, and a host of others. This has more to do with "shock" to your system rather than physical dependence.

  6. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image99
    Wesman Todd Shawposted 7 years ago

    It's not the same thing as addiction.  Addiction requires cravings, and stimulate dependence, either physical or psychological.

    For instance, LSD. .. .is completely non addictive, however, if you took LSD tonight, you'd fly, tomorrow though. . . .that same dose would do absolutely nothing for you; but that is just how LSD works, you'd need fifteen times the dose one day later for the same acid trip.

    Alcohol is physically and psychologically addictive, yet with alcohol, dependence and increased dosages for the same effect do occur in time, but if three beers gets you a buzz tonight, three beers will probably get you the same buzz the next night.

    Every substance is different in many, many ways.  Also, the things I said above are true in the general sense, however, people are all different as well, so what a drug does to me might not be very similar to what it does to you.

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