Physical vs Psychological Addiction

With determination and courage, you can beat your drug addiction, and life can be good again. Counseling and behavioral therapy are very important aspects of your treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely used method of helping you identify, cope with, and avoid any situations you find yourself in that can be triggers for taking drugs.

  • To reiterate, people can develop a chemical dependency through legally prescribed medication.
  • Along with this comes the physical need for more and more of a drug to get the desired high.
  • The mind craves these chemicals and reacts negatively when they’re suddenly gone.
  • With the right treatment plan, you can manage physical and psychological dependence and work toward long-term recovery.

A characteristic withdrawal syndrome occurs when the opioid is stopped abruptly or an opioid antagonist is given. In the case of morphine and other OP3 receptor agonists with a similar duration of action, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, yawning, and sweating occur about 8–12 hours after the last dose. Symptoms peak at about 24–48 hours after withdrawal, with restlessness, irritability, and insomnia, as well as severe sneezing, weakness, anxiety, and depression. Other symptoms include dilated pupils, anorexia, piloerection, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pyrexia, hypertension, muscle cramps, dehydration, and weight loss [141]. Some addiction therapists believe psychological dependence is tougher to quit and requires more extensive aftercare. Once the substances are out of the body, and the body begins to heal, the person may continue to suffer from the psychological consequences.

What is Physical Dependence?

CBT seeks to stop these destructive thoughts before they happen. 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. 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.

physiological and psychological dependence

Improved assessment and rational pain management should help to eliminate this problem. offers an insightful explanation based on brain image studies from people addicted to drugs. The study found, physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical for judgment, decision making, learning, memory, and behavior physiological dependence on alcohol control in addicted people. Scientists believe that these changes alter the way the brain works and may help explain the compulsive and destructive behaviors of an addicted person. This is a symptom of psychological dependency versus physical dependency. Taking a gamble means doing things that you would not normally do.

Addiction is a disease, we have addiction medicine that saves lives.

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. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. The term psychological dependence is typically used to describe the emotional and mental processes that are related to the development of a substance use disorder or process addiction. Long-term drug or alcohol abuse leads to changes in the brain’s structure and function.

E-cigarette dependence and depressive symptoms among youth – American Journal of Preventive Medicine

E-cigarette dependence and depressive symptoms among youth.

Posted: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 12:30:41 GMT [source]

Not only does physical dependence make it difficult for the body to self-regulate, but psychological dependence affects a person’s judgment, decision-making, mental health, and emotional health. For example, someone who is psychologically dependent on drugs or alcohol might continue drinking even after multiple DUIs or legal consequences. Furthermore, people with psychological dependence will experience strong and recurring urges to use drugs, even when they want to stop. When people continue to use drugs or alcohol after becoming tolerant to them, they will develop a physical dependence where they experience withdrawal symptoms when they don’t take the drug. However, certain substances have a higher risk of physical dependence than others.

Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

People seek to smoke to reduce feelings of withdrawal and potential emotional issues. Addiction, primarily, is defined as a physical and/or psychological dependence on substances (such as drugs or alcohol) and/or behaviours (such as gambling). Drugs and alcohol hijack the brain’s ability to product neurotransmitters that help regulate one’s mood. When the brain no longer has the ability to produce those essential brain chemicals, people must rely on the substances themselves to function daily. When people stop taking addictive substances, it creates dysfunction in the brain. As a result, users will experience intense cravings and urges for their substance of choice.

  • Milder withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia have also been reported.
  • Not only does physical dependence make it difficult for the body to self-regulate, but psychological dependence affects a person’s judgment, decision-making, mental health, and emotional health.
  • Addiction is a physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity.
  • For some people, psychological withdrawal is also a problem, and they begin to experience very strong alcohol cravings.

There is so much help out there if you’re just willing to take the first step and ask for it. Once you have all traces of the drug out of your system and you’re stable, you’ll be given treatment to address the psychological aspects of your addiction. If you’re psychologically addicted, you have an emotional or mental attachment to a substance. Along with this, you’ll feel strongly compelled to seek out and use your chosen substance. If you can’t get what you want, it can lead to some incredibly volatile emotions. When you introduce drugs into your body, your system will compensate by creating its own chemical reactions to counter their effects.

Promises Behavioral Health Addiction Treatment Centers

Recovery is achieved through psychotherapy, counseling, and substituting the addictive behaviors for healthy alternatives. Physical dependence is characterized by the body relying on an external (exogenous) source of a chemical substance to prevent withdrawal. Physical dependence is predictable, efficiently managed with medication, and can sometimes be managed by a tapering off of the substance or through participation in a medical detox program.

  • Physical addiction occurs with the most widely abused substances like heroin, meth, and alcohol.
  • While many people consider physical and psychological symptoms as one and the same, each has differences that must be understood to treat this condition.
  • However, treatment programs occur in various settings for different lengths of time.
  • Chronic heroin use repeatedly floods the reward system with dopamine.
  • Substance use disorder (the medical term for drug addiction) involves psychological aspects and changes to the body’s processes.

If you or a loved one are having seizures, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Seizures are sudden and uncontrolled actions disturbing the brain wave pattern. Moreover, all psychological processes have physical underpinnings, and all complex behaviors have significant psychological elements. Some estimates suggest approximately 90 percent of people recovering from opioid addiction and 75 percent of people recovering from alcohol addiction or other substance addictions will have symptoms of PAWS. You’re probably dealing with both a physical and psychological dependence in this case.

Treatment for Addiction and Dependence

They struggle to feel relaxed without alcohol anymore and, to reduce their anxiety levels and feel ‘normal’, they have to drink. Both the mind and body lash out without the “feel-good” chemicals drugs and alcohol provide. Addiction is a serious medical condition that won’t get better without treatment. There is a bit of an overlap when it comes to physical vs psychological dependence. It is also true that when you suddenly stop drinking alcohol, you’ll generally experience physical withdrawal symptoms, such as feeling ill, nauseous and shaky.

physiological and psychological dependence

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