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Difference Between Addiction and Dependence

In other words, the body feels like it needs meth to physically function. Dependence can lead to strong cravings and compulsive use in the absence of meth in order to avoid unwanted withdrawal symptoms. The more you engage with addiction vs dependence social media and receive the rewarding dopamine hit it creates, the more your brain will seek it out to get another hit. This can lead to people using social media for longer periods of time in order to get the same feeling.

addiction vs dependence

Habits for a Healthier Mind!

  • Professional treatment providers, such as addiction counselors, therapists, and medical professionals, have the knowledge and expertise to guide individuals towards recovery.
  • As mentioned, physical dependence relates to bodily reliance on substances.
  • In addition to getting appropriate treatment, there are things that you can do that will make it easier to cope and aid in your recovery.
  • Mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, can co-occur with addiction and dependence.
  • Addiction has harmful physical, psychological, and social effects.
  • Addiction can have severe physical, psychological, and social consequences, impacting various areas of an individual’s life, including relationships, work, and overall well-being.

The longer a person uses a drug, the more likely their dependency will become an addiction. It’s also important to note that benzodiazepine withdrawal can be deadly, and cessation should always be handled in the care of a professional. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). You may assume that certain substances are more addictive than others, and that is partially true, Mr. Kump says. When our content undergoes a significant revision, we summarize the changes that were made and the date on which they occurred.

addiction vs dependence

Dependence vs. tolerance

A person can become dependent on a drug without being addicted, although the two often occur together. Addiction occurs when people continue to compulsively use a drug despite harmful consequences. The term addiction is used to describe compulsive drug-seeking behaviors that continue in spite of negative outcomes, but it is important to note that addiction is not considered an official diagnosis in the DSM-5. One of the main medical texts that are used by mental health professionals to diagnose addiction is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM), which is currently in its fifth edition. Although someone with a drug addiction can end their physical dependence on the drug through detox, the mental component of the addiction remains, and maintaining sobriety can be an ongoing struggle. If so, it’s important for you to treat it with the seriousness it requires and get help before it’s too late.

  • Using nicotine just one time can start the process of nicotine dependence.
  • Getting and using drugs become the main focal point in the person’s life, despite any and all consequences that may follow.
  • And it is the most misused drug in the United States, Mr. Kump says.

Addiction Is a Disease; Tolerance and Dependence Aren’t

addiction vs dependence

They use the substance no matter what and despite the consequences. Addictions are more likely to result in serious harm, including suicide, unlike tolerance and physical dependence. This conflation of addiction with dependence, which stigmatizes effective medication treatment for opioid use disorder, is even enshrined in law. Once a person has decided that they have a problem and need help, the next step is an examination by a healthcare professional.

Seeking professional help is essential for individuals dealing with addiction or dependence. Addiction and dependence can be complex conditions that require specialized care and support. Professional treatment providers, such as addiction counselors, therapists, and medical professionals, have the knowledge and expertise to guide individuals towards recovery. Understanding the relationship between addiction and dependence, as well as the common factors contributing to both, can help individuals and their loved ones navigate these complex conditions. Seeking professional help, such as addiction treatment options, is crucial for addressing addiction and dependence effectively and promoting long-term recovery. There are several common factors that can contribute to both addiction and dependence.

Be open-minded to suggestions, as professionals are trained and experienced in determining treatment plans. Aside from abstinence, you can avoid addiction and dependence by educating yourself about the drugs and how they harm your body and mind. By knowing what addiction and dependence are, what they look like, and how they develop, you can limit your risk.

  • It may be done by family and friends in consultation with a health care provider or mental health professional such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or directed by an intervention professional.
  • In this article, we look at the differences between addiction and dependence and explore definitions, examples, and differences in treatment.
  • Addiction is a physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity.

It’s always recommended to work in conjuncture with your prescriber to safety make any medication management changes to SSRI medications safely. Some people do well at home with regular doctor visits and support groups. And sometimes it takes more than one type of treatment to be successful. Although there are some schools of thought that stress the need for complete abstinence, many people are able to learn to control addictive behaviors, such as drinking, eating, shopping, and sex. The approach that will be best for you depends on many factors and is best decided in collaboration with your doctor or therapist. Addiction diagnosis usually requires recognizing that there is a problem and seeking help.

Dependence vs. Addiction: How to Tell the Difference

If you have tobacco use disorder, you need a constant supply of the substance in your body. When nicotine fades out of your bloodstream, you’ll experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Having a nicotine dependence also creates a higher tolerance for the substance over time, meaning you’ll need larger amounts of nicotine to feel the effects. It may be done by family and friends in consultation with a health care provider or mental health professional such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or directed by an intervention professional. It involves family and friends and sometimes co-workers, clergy or others who care about the person struggling with addiction.

Physiological Aspects of Dependence

Some drugs, such as opioid painkillers, have a higher risk and cause addiction more quickly than others. When it comes to discussing substance use and related issues, it’s important to understand the distinction between addiction and dependence. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they represent distinct concepts with their own characteristics. In this section, we will define addiction and dependence and explore the key differences between them. Give us a call today to speak with one of our representatives about how Clear Behavioral Health can help you begin the healing process from alcohol or drug abuse and or mental disorders. However, if an individual takes an antidepressant of this category for long enough, they can experience negative symptoms or experience discomfort when they stop—especially if they stop abruptly.

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