The Difference Between Psychological, Physiological Dependence and Addiction

“Addiction” is a word that many people attach negative connotations. Along with this comes the physical need for more and more of a drug to get the desired high. With addiction often comes physical dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal syndrome. Sober Home Since individuals with psychological addiction believe they need drugs or alcohol, not having their preferred substance can make them depressed. This can cause symptoms of a low mood, difficulty concentrating, or feelings of worthlessness.

Among other factors, your physical vs psychological dependence plays a role in your treatment plan. But through detox, rehab, and therapies like psychodynamic therapy for substance dependency, you can end your addiction and start a new life. A strong treatment program will address both the physical and psychological components of addiction. Withdrawal symptoms will be carefully managed, using medications if necessary to ensure safe detoxification. For some drugs, such as benzodiazepines or opioids, the only safe way to detox is with the assistance of doctors or trained professionals to help you slowly ease off of the drugs in a safe manner. It is possible to have a physical dependence on a substance without being addicted, though one is rarely present without the other. Addiction describes a problematic pattern of substance use that causes problems, consequences, distress, or impairment for a person. Addictive disorders are diagnosed as either mild, moderate, or severe depending on how many of the 11 symptoms of substance use disorder a person has. A common psychological symptom of dependence is making excuses or getting defensive about your drug use. When a person becomes addicted to a drug they may go to far lengths to be able to use it again.

Addictions

You also feel ready for rehab treatment, to address the problems that led you into dependence, in the first place. For a person who has a substance use disorder, simply quitting alcohol or drugs cold turkey can be nearly impossible. There are several significant components of addiction, including physical dependence and psychological dependence on the drug that can make it impossible to simply choose to stop using. To better understand why addiction can be difficult to combat without professional assistance, it’s helpful to look at what physical dependence and psychological dependence are.

Often, people are unaware of these thoughts even though they can result in a mental illness. The longer a person regularly uses a substance, the more likely they will build up a tolerance to it. Once this happens, they will need more of it to feel like how they did when they first started using it. This makes physical symptoms worse when they try to stop using it. When you use drugs or alcohol over a long period of time, there are changes in your body that make it so that your body is unable to function without the drug. You might need higher or more frequent doses of a drug or of alcohol to feel the same effects you once did or your body might have difficulty functioning without drugs or alcohol in your system. At Recovered, we recognize the impact COVID-19 has had and the continued challenges it poses to getting advice and treatment for substance use disorders. SAMHSA has a wealth of information and resources to assist providers, individuals, communities, and states during this difficult time and is ready to help in any way possible.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Silver Pines Treatment Center is an addiction treatment facility that addresses the physical and mental effects that drug and alcohol abuse cause. Moreover, we promote a very structured environment, which gives our clients the chance to focus on recovery. Seizures are some of the most intense withdrawal symptoms that occur from physical dependence. They are described as uncontrollable and sudden disturbances in the brain’s wave pattern.

In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues. In most cases, though, working with a therapist is the best course for addressing psychological dependence, whether it occurs on its own or alongside physical dependence. You’re probably dealing with both a physical and psychological dependence in this case. It allows patients to acknowledge that they exist, why they happen and actively try to change them. A therapist who specializes in CBT may ask a recovering addict to track the thoughts that happen when they want to use drugs and alcohol. They can use these patterns to help them move forward in the process of recovery. It’s so much more than overcoming the physical sensation of withdrawal. Understanding the mental and psychical aspects behind it can help explain why it’s a complicated disorder. It’s important to remember that you can recover from substance use disorder, whether you notice it during the dependency stage or when you’re already addicted.

Others form based on physical changes you experience in drug use. Which you suffer helps addiction treatment professionals identify the type of treatment you need. These classifications changed in 2013 and the terms are no longer used to differentiate mild, moderate, or severe forms of addiction. A person with 2-3 symptoms would be classified as mild, 4-5 as moderate, and 6 or more psychological dependence vs physiological dependence as severe. As their body becomes physically dependent, the brain experiences chemical changes due to substance abuse. When the level of drugs and alcohol drops, the brain sends messages that the body needs more. Furthermore, the brain and body don’t feel “rewarded” until they receive the substance. A person may see drugs or alcohol as the only way to cope with these stresses.

Addiction and dependence are words both used to describe an unhealthy and problematic pattern of drug or alcohol use. In the past, drug or alcohol dependence was diagnosed as the most severe form of addiction, but this classification was done away with in 2013. Today, addiction and dependence are used interchangeably, and both refer to an unhealthy and problematic pattern of substance use. Someone with an alcohol dependence may have an emotional reaction to something as simple as ice clinking against a glass.

Physical dependence can happen with the chronic use of many drugs—including many prescription drugs, even if taken as instructed. Thus, physical dependence in and of itself does not constitute addiction, but it often accompanies addiction. Substance abuse includes any harmful or dangerous use of psychoactive substances. These psychoactive substances include many drugs that affect mental or cognitive processing, such as alcohol, illicit drugs, and even some legal medicines. Substance abuse sometimes leads to substance dependence, meaning the user’s physical or psychological reliance on the substance. Detox is usually the first program in an addiction treatment center. Recovering addicts will stop or taper off the substance they are addicted to. This removes any traces of it from their body and the build-up of toxins in the process. The medication they’re prescribed in some cases mitigates the physical symptoms of withdrawal. According to the World Health Organization , substance abuse is when a person uses psychoactive drugs in a way that could harm them.
psychological dependence vs physiological dependence
Many people refer to ‘dependence’ as ‘addiction.’ Note that substance abuse can lead to substance dependence, but it doesn’t always. However, if this person takes it for several years they’ll likely develop a physical and psychological dependence. Also, their tolerance may go up, which means they’ll need a higher dose. On the other hand, addiction is when a person uses substances, like drugs and alcohol, despite the harmful consequences. The term psychology refers to the behavioral process related to the mind and emotions. Psychological dependence describes the mental and emotional processes that relate to developing or recovering from a substance abuse problem or addiction. Emotional dependence is just as severe as physical dependence, and addressing the mental aspects of dependence is part of an effective recovery program. Psychological dependence is a cognitive disorder that involves emotional–motivational withdrawal symptoms—e.g. Anxiety and anhedonia—upon cessation of prolonged drug abuse or certain repetitive behaviors. It develops through frequent exposure to a psychoactive substance or behavior, though behavioral dependence is less talked about.

If you or a loved one is experiencing seizures, contact medical attention immediately. Sana Lake Recovery Center is a Joint Commission Accredited addiction treatment program. We offer a safe and trustworthy facility for people struggling with substance abuse. This seal indicates our commitment to continually elevating our standards and providing a superior treatment for substance abuse. The inability to stop using drugs even after health problems arise is another symptom of psychological dependency versus physical dependency. Here at Sana Lake, we offer several programs that can help each patient individually.

  • You’re gripped with fear that you’ll fumble your words or screw up the slides because you didn’t get your caffeine boost.
  • What this means, is that they will usually experience cravings and strong desires to use again.
  • Knowing the stance of the American Psychiatric Association, can we still assume there is a difference between psychological and physical addiction?
  • To combat addiction, it would be helpful to have loved ones help you overcome and be a part of your recovery life.

Treatment professionals refer to this type of dependency as a process addiction, which includes non-drug triggers such as gambling, gaming, sex, etc. When suffering from addiction, people deal with a wide variety of issues and challenges that they must overcome. This is why, upon enrolling at an addiction treatment center, you will complete an assessment that will gain an understanding of your physical and psychological symptoms. Without detox in a supervised environment, there are serious risks, including death. It all depends on how long a person has used a substance, how many they are using, and what they are detoxing from.
Eco Sober House
Even certain personality traits like being naturally more impulsive or neurotic can increase the chances of developing a dependence on drugs or alcohol. If you or someone you know identifies with the symptoms of physical and psychological dependence, you might need addiction treatment. Our staff at Comprehensive Wellness Centers is here to help you every step of the way. In order for addiction treatment to be effective, patients must receive treatment for their physical and psychological symptoms. Symptoms of psychological dependence are viewed as more variable because people are all different, and brain chemistry can vary. Intensity levels are also different and may be influenced by lifestyle and environmental variables. There is no objective way to measure distress, but a person knows when they experience the symptoms . Acknowledging the pain and finding the professional help to alleviate it and begin the appropriate therapies are essential first steps in recovery.
psychological dependence vs physiological dependence

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