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These terms might help you:


Experimental drug use is when a person begins to explore what drugs are, what reaction they have to them and also the social aspects of drug use.


Recreational drug use is the use of drugs for pleasure or leisure. Drinking or  drug use has become part of someone’s lifestyle, even though they may only taking them occasionally.

However it is not necessarily the frequency of drug use which is the primary ‘problem’ but the effects that drug taking have on the user’s life (i.e they may experience social, financial, psychological, physical or legal problems as a result).


An acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street


Is defined by the NHS as drinking more than double the lower risk guidelines for alcohol in one session.    Binge drinking therefore, is drinking;

  • more than 8 units of alcohol – or about three pints of strong beer for men,.
  • more than 6 units of alcohol, equivalent to two large glasses of wine. for women.

If you are consuming a lot of alcohol or drugs in a short time or finding it hard to stop drinking once you have started, you could  have a problem with binge drinking and possibly alcohol dependence.


Dependency describes a compulsion to continue taking a drug in order to feel good or to avoid feeling bad. It may be to  avoid physical discomfort or withdrawal, because of the need for pleasure, or to escape reality.


An addiction refers to a drug dependency that has developed to such an extent that it has serious detrimental effects on the user and often their family as well. They may be using every day and be intoxicated most of the time and have great difficulty stopping drug use.

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