Addiction to Drugs/compulsion


I am a bit confused. We say that OCD is about compulsion whereas drugs are about addiction. These terms confuse me. Please explain the difference?

The definition of compulsion is feeling compelled, or that you must do something. OCD is when the compulsion to do something, anything becomes an obsession. That gets into mental illness, where a person must count something numerous times or repeat a movement, etc. Drug abuse has not always been considered a medical diagnosis. It was once only considered an obsession. It is a bit of a "gray area" because it is considered a medical condition, but there is still a large component of compulsion involved in addiction because the user/drinker feels compelled to use, or that they must. It isn't just a physical addiction; there is also a psychological addiction to it, just like with smoking- once the person stops smoking, they still have the psychological desire to do something with their hands. Hope this helps a little.

You are absolutely right, the two terms are confusing. I can explain them better if you will kindly give me a day or so until after the Christmas holiday, OK? It is 1130 on C-mas Eve, and I'd like to think about it so I can answer your question properly. I think I can do so. Will get back to you after the Christmas holiday. Have a good one.

Addiction to Drugs

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Patricia M.


I will attempt to answer any serious question on substance abuse, including alcohol, illegal drugs and/or prescription drugs.


As a nurse, I bring a strong background in pharmacology along with a working knowledge of the effects of addiction. I am a believer in 12-step programs, and also medication-controlled programs for certain addictions.

Nursing school with diploma. 20-plus years nursing in general hospitals, med/surg and in later years employed by psychologists who also handled substance abuse problems. I am up-to-date with current treatment options, including medically-supervised programs and 12-steps.

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Dean's List while in college. I have taken extra pharmacology courses because I enjoy it, and out necessity to stay up-to-date.

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I volunteer here on AllExperts in the Pharmacology area and also Medical area, in attempt to offer the questioners a "nurse's perspective", where I've received many and varied questions and problems, including some relating to addictions.

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