Drug dependence is not addiction and it matters PMC

Physical and psychological dependence on a drug is different, although many with addictions to drugs or alcohol have both. Being physically dependent on a substance means a person’s brain and body have come to rely on the drug, and that a person will experience physical withdrawals when cutting back or stopping. Certain drugs are known to be more physically addictive than others, making it more likely that a person will develop a physical dependence (i.e. heroin, cocaine, or meth vs marijuana or alcohol).

Together, therapy and education teach individuals how to get to the root of their addiction, defeat difficult emotions and cravings, establish healthful routines, and discover their best possible selves. Dependence and abuse are defined in a way that measures the time and severity of substance use. As it worsens and becomes more frequent, the odds of developing a substance use disorder increase dramatically. Treatment must address withdrawal symptoms and potential relapses if it occurs. Success is most likely when a person has access to long-term treatment and ongoing support.

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Depending on how many symptoms you have, your condition may be classified as mild, moderate, or severe. As with other diseases and disorders, the likelihood of developing an addiction differs from person to person, and no single factor determines whether a person will become addicted to drugs. In general, the more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs will lead to drug use and addiction.

The leading source to diagnose and understand addiction comes from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The DSM-IV defines dependence and abuse as two completely different disorders. In the most recent edition, however, it does not have this distinction. Speak with your doctor if https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/cognitive-dissonance-treatment-in-sober-living/ you have become physically dependent on a medication or other substance. Speak with your doctor if you develop a tolerance to your medication or any other substance. If you are taking a prescription medication, your doctor may change the class of medication, which may affect your body in a different way.

Determining Whether You’re Dependent or Addicted

Addiction is in its own category and is characterized as changes in behavior, which are caused by the biochemical changes in our brain due to prolonged substance abuse. Getting and using drugs become the main focal point in the person’s life, despite any and all consequences that may follow. For example, if a person is arrested for using drugs and leaves jail to pick up more, they’ve likely developed an addiction. Addiction causes individuals to act erratic or irrational when they cannot get more of their drug of choice. In the substance abuse world, defining addiction is fairly clear.

No longer taking that drug produces symptoms, including withdrawal syndrome. Some people do well at home with regular doctor visits and support groups. And sometimes it takes more than one type of treatment addiction vs dependence to be successful. Other common substances that cause dependence are nicotine and pain relievers, particularly narcotics. Stopping suddenly will likely cause symptoms, and they can be serious.

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He says it relaxes him, and he enjoys the way it makes him feel. Mark eventually develops a physical dependence on alcohol, as it’s an addictive substance. He decides to cut out this bad habit, but he soon starts drinking again. Now he drinks ten or fifteen beers every night, and he sometimes blacks out.

addiction vs dependence

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