Physical vs Psychological Dependence

If you or a loved one need help, start with us at Direct2Recovery. As we stated earlier, we’re an outpatient Suboxone clinic that is dedicated to help as many patients as we can to overcome their addiction and begin to live life at its fullest once again. Specific trauma, stressors, people, locations, and events can be triggers. However, you can still choose to not take the substance while dealing with these triggers — with addiction, it’s almost impossible to not take the substance when in these situations. Gambling is arguably the best example of behavioural addictions, and it was recently added to the DSM-5.

  • The maximum intensity of the high can last for hours, as opposed to minutes when people smoke or snort heroin.
  • With determination and courage, you can beat your drug addiction, and life can be good again.
  • Adi Jaffe, Ph.D., is a lecturer at UCLA and the CEO of IGNTD, an online company that produces podcasts and educational programs on mental health and addiction.
  • You can become physically addicted to anything from prescribed drugs to alcohol and heroin.
  • To truly get the most from your addiction treatment, you need to be able to understand the dynamics, so ongoing education and aftercare help is a huge part of getting clean.
  • Tolerance does build up over time, which changes how the brain reacts to the presence of the drug.

“Addiction” is a word that many people attach negative connotations. It seems that people think about physical addiction and psychological addiction as somehow separate processes. Even if people really meant what they were saying, the brain is undoubtedly part of the body, and therefore, psychological addictions are also physical. This classification fails to recognise individual variation in drug use. Alcohol can be used in heavy doses that are gravely disabling and induce severe physical dependence with convulsions on sudden withdrawal; i.e. for the individual the drug is ‘hard’.

The Difference Between Physical vs. Psychological Dependence

Another notable difference is that most stimulant users will go through psychological withdrawal, rather than a physical one when they cease to use drugs. What this means, is that they will usually experience cravings and strong desires to use again. Chronic use of flurazepam is often followed by tolerance and decrease in effectiveness.

Taking larger doses of a drug or substance is an effect of psychological dependence, not physical dependence. Once your brain is used to the effects of the substance of choice, it requires the person to take larger and larger doses to get the same initial effect. Psychological addiction occurs when you do not suffer physical withdrawal from the substances you use, but you do suffer mental effects. Marijuana and cocaine are two of the most commonly used drugs causing psychological dependence.

Signs and Symptoms of a Psychological Dependence

It is important, then, that we address the signs of physical and psychological dependence properly, for the sake of the people involved and the people it affects. Detox is usually the first program in physiological dependence on alcohol 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.

physiological and psychological dependence

Substance use disorder (the medical term for drug addiction) involves psychological aspects and changes to the body’s processes. Your brain will respond differently to regular stimuli due to its altered state. Did you know that there are many stages that lead up to addiction?

The Addiction Blog

These risks can include trading sexual favors for the substance and even stealing to get your substance. Constipation and diarrhea are two effects that physically manifest themselves. Having diarrhea can cause dehydration which can lead to other health problems. Depending on the addiction, it was previously thought to be either one or the other. Here at Sana Lake Kansas City Rehab, we have a great detox program that will help you and your body recover physically and psychologically.

Harmful use of alcohol, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)¹, is responsible for around 5% of the global burden of disease. Physical and psychological dependence is prominent in addiction, a key identifier of the disorder. Addiction affects people differently, although there are specific signs that help professionals and those with addiction issues recognise the issues.

Mental Health Treatment

Important risk factors for addiction include a history of abuse of street drugs, prescription drugs, or alcoholism. It is important for all patients exposed to opioids to undergo careful screening for all these major risk factors. From there, they move into addressing the underlying causes of their substance use, which is the psychological side of addiction. Medical detox helps you safely and comfortably get through the ill physical effects and negative mental symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal can lead to physical, mental, and emotional distress. But through medical detox, you can avoid any physical harm that may come with substance use.

physiological and psychological dependence

As seen in our example with dopamine and nicotine, the stimulation of certain neurotransmitters and pathways within the brain typically causes addiction if not taken carefully and within reason. We need to explore what we mean by physical and psychological dependence to understand how they connect to addiction. To understand the differences between the types of dependence, however, we must first define dependence. Treatment must address withdrawal symptoms and potential relapses if it occurs.

Programs With a Focus on Psychological Dependence

Withdrawal symptoms occur because the body is attempting to counteract the stoppage of drug ingestion. Just like tolerance builds as the body adjusts to chronic drug use, withdrawal occurs as the body reacts to its cessation. There may be psychological dependence, but there is little or no physical dependence except with heavy doses of depressants (alcohol). The group includes sedatives and tranquillisers, amfetamines, cannabis, hallucinogens, alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. Talking and expressing oneself is a great way to help ease pain both physically and psychologically. Taking either a cold or warm bath is another way to ease the pain of withdrawal symptoms by soothing the discomforts of sweating or chills.

Senate committee advances marijuana banking bill – KTLA Los Angeles

Senate committee advances marijuana banking bill.

Posted: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 15:26:51 GMT [source]

In time though, your body will stop reacting to the substances in the way it did when they were first introduced, and developing a tolerance. To understand what addiction is, you need to be aware of the difference between physical and psychological addiction as well as tolerance and dependence. We’ll touch on these here, and explore each in more detail below.

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