The Darker Side of Life: Differentiating Physical Dependence vs. Addiction

The Darker Side of Life: Differentiating Physical Dependence vs. Addiction #beverlyhills #beverlyhillsmagazine #detoxification #substancedependency #withdrawalsymptoms #addictionrecovery
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When people are struggling with substance abuse, they confuse the terms dependence and addiction with each other, muddying their true meanings. It is important to understand the differences between the two so that they can be treated properly, as the treatment for both are not necessarily the same. So what exactly is the difference between substance addiction and substance dependence, and how should they be treated?

What Is Substance Addiction?

One defining difference between addiction and dependence is that the former does not result in withdrawal symptoms. If one looks at the benzo withdrawal timeline, they will see that the person becomes physically dependent on the drug rather than being addicted.

An addiction is the compulsive use of a substance despite knowing/experiencing those negative consequences. The use of these substances can lead to physical changes in the brain that trigger the reward and motivation centers, causing them to go awry.

What Is Substance Dependence?

Dependence is when a person becomes physically reliant on a substance, leading to a sense of entrapment. The body starts to crave the substance more and more in order to achieve the same effects. Dependence is typically characterized by tolerance and withdrawal symptoms; the person will experience physical symptoms when the substance is not present in their body.

However, substance dependency often leads to addiction, where the individual will engage in uncontrollable behaviour in order to obtain and use the substance.

Getting Treatment For Addiction

When it comes to addiction, detoxification is often the primary treatment option, followed by therapy and then education in order to address the underlying causes of addiction. If there are co-occurring disorders present, then treatment might be necessary for those as well. With time and patience, recovery from addiction is possible, as long as you stick with it.

Getting Treatment For Dependency

In substance dependency, detoxification is also an important part of the healing process. This involves the management of withdrawal symptoms while the body gets rid of the substance from its system. Detoxification alone, however, is not a sufficient form of treatment, as the individual will simply return to using it once they leave treatment. Instead, it should be followed up with therapy and education in order to address the underlying causes of dependency.

How To Tell If You Have An Addiction Or Dependence?

The first thing you should look at is whether it affects your daily life and relationships. If you have compulsive cravings, reduced physical health, and having to take increased dosages? Do you also experience withdrawal symptoms? Are your losing time when you’re seeking or using the substance? Then you might have a potential substance use disorder and you need to seek help as soon as possible.

Recovering from addiction or dependence isn’t a journey you have to make alone. Confide in friends and family about your concerns so that they can be with you during your recovery journey. They can even be your support while you go through therapy so that they can encourage you to see it through to the end.

Martin Maina
Martin Maina is a professional writer and blogger who uses his expertise, skills, and personal experience in digital marketing to craft content that resonates with audiences. Deep down, he believes that if you cannot do great things, then you can do small things in a great way. To learn more, you can connect with him online.
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