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Drug Addiction vs Drug Dependence

Dependence is a complex condition that can occur alongside or separate from addiction. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and effects of dependence is essential in untangling the complexities of this condition. Speak with your doctor if you have become physically dependent on a medication or other substance. Speak with your doctor if you develop addiction vs dependence 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. If it is not a prescription medication, your doctor may be able to help you reduce your use of the substance with the least side effects.

  • However, it’s common for physical dependence to accompany addiction.
  • Substance use disorder (SUD) is when your body needs nicotine to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • When nicotine fades out of your bloodstream, you’ll experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
  • Stopping some drugs then relapsing can heighten your risk of overdose, mental health problems, or other life-threatening medical complications, and should be done under medical supervision.

Symptoms and Causes

A substance use disorder combines the psychological aspects of addiction and the physical aspects of dependence into one condition. Addiction (clinically called a substance use disorder) refers to the compulsive, uncontrollable use of meth despite all of the harm that it causes. Addiction encompasses not only physical changes (such as dependence) but harmful behaviors that affect every aspect of an individual’s life. Addiction elicits changes in the brain which impact an individual’s drive, motivation, thought process and behaviors so much that meth use becomes prioritized over all else.

  • Someone who’s dependent on a substance may or may not be addicted to it, but someone who’s addicted to a drug has always become dependent on it.
  • If you believe you have an addiction, it’s never too late to look for help.
  • Let’s explore the different approaches to treating addiction and addressing dependence, as well as the importance of seeking professional help.
  • Abruptly stopping this substance disrupts homeostasis, and the body must adapt to not having the drug in the body.

Addiction vs. Dependence: Understanding the Difference

  • However, they are not engaging in any changed thoughts or behaviors, so there is no addiction.
  • Some drugs, such as opioid painkillers, have a higher risk and cause addiction more quickly than others.
  • If you are starting to think you might have an addiction, you have probably moved into the contemplation stage.
  • For example, a person may drink alcohol when they feel stressed but otherwise feel no compulsion to drink.

This leads to a tolerance forming, where the required level of stimuli needed (in this case social media) to get the same dopamine reaction increases. This tolerance can lead to dependence, where the user needs interaction with social media in order to feel normal. If left unchecked, the negative aspects of this dependence can lead to addiction. You don’t need treatment to cure nicotine dependence, but those who get treatment are often more successful.

What behavioral treatments can treat nicotine dependence?

addiction vs dependence

Psychological addiction, on the other hand, focuses on the mental and emotional aspects of reliance on a substance. It’s characterized by intense cravings and a preoccupation with obtaining and using the substance, often driven by pleasurable sensations or relief it provides. Psychological addiction can lead to obsessive thinking about the substance and difficulty managing life without it. Addiction, on the other hand, often encompasses the elements of dependence and also includes a host of other considerations across life domains. It’s characterized by a compulsive and uncontrollable urge to seek and use a substance, even when it causes you harm to do so.

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