Drug use Addiction, Habituation, Dependence

Physical dependence on a substance (drug or alcohol) may be a component of addiction, but it does not itself equal addiction. Dependence is characterized by tolerance or withdrawal symptoms, and can be a consequence of many drugs, such as pain medications, stimulants, and antidepressants. The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

addiction vs dependence

On the other hand, dependence refers strictly to a physical need for a substance. Dr. Kevin Wandler of Advanced Recovery Systems warns that addictive drugs, such as nicotine, can cause dependence. Connect with thousands of patients and caregivers for support and answers. I’ve been taking Clonazepam, 1mg at bedtime, originally for anxiety, but along the way I found that it keeps me from acting out my dreams, something my wife did not appreciate. It’s hard to know just how much it decreases the panic attacks, but they’ve become less frequent. I know that I take more medications than others, but there’s a reason for each one.


” Mental dependence is when the use of drugs or alcohol is a conditioned response to something you feel or an event, often referred to as triggers. For example, if you get into an argument with a significant other, your first response will be to pick up a six-pack of beer or call your dealer for illicit drugs. These triggers set off biochemical changes Alcoholism & Anger Management: Mental Health & Addiction in your brain, which influence addictive behavior. 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.

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As substance abuse becomes more frequent, the likelihood of developing a dependence disorder becomes greater. The difference between addiction and dependence can be difficult to understand. Some organizations have different definitions, use the words interchangeably or even abandon both terms altogether. (Substance use disorder, or SUD, is a preferred term in the scientific community.) Because of this lack of consistency, some ground rules can help differentiate between the two terms. The difference of the two issues may be clear, but that does not mean exhibiting the signs of alcohol abuse should cause you to breathe a sigh of relief.

Addiction vs. Dependence Explained

They include opioid pain relievers, stimulants used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and benzodiazepines to treat anxiety or sleep disorders. Dependency is caused by the ongoing presence of a https://g-markets.net/sober-living/man-serving-sentence-for-attacking-parents-fails/ drug in your system. For example, a person may become physically dependent on antidepressant medications prescribed to treat depression, even experiencing withdrawal symptoms when tapering down or stopping using.

While dependence and addiction are often used interchangeably, they are different. Because of this confusion, some organizations prefer substance use disorder (SUD). For instance, someone who is on a prescription for pain medication may find that he needs increasing amounts of dosage for the medication to work. Some doctors may diagnose this as an increasing tolerance, or it might be disguised as the possible start of an addiction issue. Prescribing healthcare providers also need to educate patients about the potential risks so that they will follow their provider’s instructions, safeguard their medications, and dispose of them appropriately, according to NIDA. Abuse and dependence are defined on a scale that measures the time and degree of substance use.

Substance Addiction vs. Dependence: An Overview

After I cleared it with my doctor, I recently stopped taking Diltiazem, which a cardiologist prescribed because I was having brief episodes of tachycardia. Being dependent https://g-markets.net/sober-living/254-massachusetts-sober-living-homes-transitional/ on a drug and being addicted to a drug are two distinct, but related, concepts. Addiction treatment is the best way to get help and overcome dependency or addiction.

addiction vs dependence