Addiction vs Physical Dependence Benzodiazepine Information Coalition

Physical addiction appears to occur when repeated use of a drug changes the way your brain feels pleasure. The addicting drug causes physical changes to some nerve cells in your brain. Examples include methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also called MDMA, ecstasy or molly, and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, known as GHB. Other examples include ketamine and flunitrazepam or Rohypnol ― a brand used outside the U.S. ― also called roofie.

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. Detox is usually the first program in an addiction treatment center. Recovering addicts will stop or taper off the substance they are addicted to.

People struggling with addiction usually deny they have a problem and hesitate to seek treatment. An intervention presents a loved one with a structured opportunity to make changes before things get even worse and can motivate someone to seek or accept help. Examples include prescription sleeping medicines such as zolpidem and zaleplon . Signs and symptoms of drug use or intoxication may vary, depending on the type of drug. Marty Markovits is the Chief Information Officer at TruHealing.

In order to understand whether or not cocaine is physically addictive, it is important to understand what this means. When people discuss physical versus psychological addiction, physical addiction actually refers to the body’s dependence on a drug to feel normal versus the disease of addiction. The difference between physical and psychological addiction is not as defined as you might think. As people’s psychological and physical reactions aren’t universal across all types of drugs, it’s hard to put all the different signs and symptoms of addiction into two completely distinct categories. Substance abuse is a very serious problem that should never be ignored. When you’re physically addicted, it can manifest as both physical and psychological symptoms.

  • Physical addiction is most commonly caused by substances like heroin and methamphetamine.
  • Even if people really meant what they were saying, the brain is undoubtedly part of the body, and therefore, psychological addictions are also physical.
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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. It’s so much more than overcoming the physical sensation of withdrawal. Understanding the mental and psychical aspects behind it can help explain why it’s a complicated disorder.

Psychological addiction happens when the cravings for a drug are psychological or emotional. People who are psychologically addicted feel overcome by the desire to have a drug. Once you leave treatment, developing a support network is essential for managing both forms of addiction in recovery. You’ll be encouraged to find available AA and NA meetings in your community, develop friendships with people who are also in recovery and have a few key contacts you can reach out to for support. So, when it comes to addiction, what’s the difference in psychological and physical dependency? We help thousands of people change their lives with our treatment programs.

Withdrawal – The real physical addiction

The current medical understanding of addiction involves changes to the structure of the reward system in the brain, leading to compulsive pursuit and ingestion of intoxicating substances. The explanation and the features that occur in this stage are heavily borrowed from an earlier theory of addictive behaviors known as the incentive sensitization theory. Again, the changes are primarily due to alterations in an individual’s neurobiology that occur as a result of interaction between experience and physiology. Drugs such as cocaine, opioids, and stimulants can cause addiction faster. Speak with your doctor if you have become physically dependent on a medication or other substance. Physical dependence on a drug is also different from addiction.

Above all, offer a friend who’s battling an addiction lots of encouragement and praise. It may seem corny, but hearing that you care is just the kind of motivation your friend needs. Join our online community to learn more about addiction and treatment. By submitting this form you agree to terms of use and privacy policy of the website. Patients experience one-on-one therapy sessions with a licensed therapist to provide a safe and private place to recover and heal.

physical addiction

Physical addiction includes withdrawal symptoms and compulsively taking the drug to feel normal. With cocaine, people who abuse the drug may strongly desire the physical effects, not just the mental effects, of the stimulant. They may enjoy the increased energy, higher self-esteem, sense of accomplishment, or even the suppressed appetite that the drug causes. Addiction, on the other hand, is a behavioral syndrome characterized by the compulsive and repeated seeking out or usage of a drug in spite of negative physical, psychological and/or social consequences. Along with this comes the physical need for more and more of a drug to get the desired high. With addiction often comes physical dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal syndrome.

Instead, addictions include elements that are both physical and psychological. It seems that people think about 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. More so than the physical withdrawal symptoms, it is the cravings and psychological dependence that lead a person to use Marijuana again. It is also psychological dependence that is more likely to lead a person to enter treatment. Although doctors do not generally consider antidepressants to be addictive, they note that some individuals may develop physical dependence on them.

Although all types of addictions cause harm, there are considerable differences between physical and psychological addiction. Understanding those differences and recognizing the signs and symptoms of each type of addiction can help determine the best course of treatment. Physical addiction is most commonly caused by substances like heroin and methamphetamine. With a physical addiction, a person will experience actual physical symptoms from drug use or withdrawal. This can occur with drugs as harmless as caffeine to drugs as dangerous as cocaine.

How Addiction Affects the Brain

Unfortunately, your nucleus accumbens plays a key role in psychological addictions . Thus, it is this part of your brain that causes you to develop attachments to otherwise non-addictive substances. Physical and psychological dependence on a drug is different, although many with addictions to drugs or alcohol have both. Being physically dependent on a substance means a person’s brain and body have come to rely on the drug, and that a person will experience physical withdrawals when cutting back or stopping.

  • Over the last two decades, the development of neuroimaging techniques has led to a whole different approach to conceptualizing human development.
  • You will still see our existing facility names co-branded with TruHealing for the time being.
  • Substance abuse is complex by nature and physical and psychological addiction can often overlap, so you may not know one from the other.
  • His commitment to his colleagues and employees toward advancement and inclusiveness helps them achieve goals, builds connections, and provides a competitive advantage in the healthcare field.

The Association for Addiction Professionals represents the professional interests of more than 100,000 addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada and abroad. The person continues to use the substance despite it causing issues with physical health, emotional functioning, at work, at school, or in other important areas of life. When you continue to use a drug on a regular basis, your body makes adjustments by increasing its production of hormones and neurotransmitters that offset the effects of the drug. Use of the drug itself results in an increase or decrease in certain hormones or neurotransmitters. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that 19 to 20 million people in the United States suffer from some form of substance use disorder. In this case, addiction is demonstrated as both a mental, or psychological, and chemical, or physical, affect in the brain, thus providing evidence that addiction is both psychological and physical.

The process of addiction in the brain

But who we end up becoming and how much we like that person are more in our control than we tend to think they are. Depending on the substance, the individual may require detoxification as the first step in their treatment plan. Like opioids, experts tend to consider them relatively safe when a person takes them as needed, sparingly, and for short periods of time. Don’t go back to the neighborhood where you used to get your drugs. A strong, stable bond between you and your child will reduce your child’s risk of using or misusing drugs.

  • People may also refer to it as withdrawal syndrome, dependence syndrome, or abstinence syndrome, and it occurs when symptoms of withdrawal appear after a person stops taking a substance abruptly.
  • If you try to stop your addiction, or even just cut down on your drug use, you’ll experience cravings.
  • Medications in the corticosteroid family, for instance, used to control inflammation, have been shown to produce withdrawal symptoms without triggering the problems of a substance-use disorder.
  • We teach patients why a physical vs psychological dependence matters and how to deal with both positively.

It may seem like a small thing, but this distinction makes many users feel as if their problem is less, or more, severe than that of other addicts. As far as I’m concerned, if you have a behavior that is making your life miserable and which you can’t seem to stop, it doesn’t matter if you’re throwing up during withdrawal or not. This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.

Even though all addictions are defined by a loss of control, misusing different substances can affect people in different ways. Some addictions, for example, affect a person cognitively, changing the way their mind eco sober house boston functions. Other addictions primarily affect the body, triggering adverse side effects and physical symptoms. Certain substance use disorders have characteristics of both physical and psychological dependence.

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Not only does cocaine change how neurotransmitters are released, but a study found that cocaine addiction actually changes a person’s genetics, and this could lead to physical addiction. The drug activates genes that code for the protein delta-FosB; this protein, in turn, activates production of GluR2, a component of glutamate receptors, and these bind to the neurotransmitter glutamate. An increase in the ability to bind to glutamate intensifies a person’s sensitivity to cocaine’s rewarding effects, which is a physical change leading to reinforcement for taking the drug. Cocaine dependence is a neurological disorder that occurs when withdrawal symptoms manifest after stopping use of the drug.

The signs and symptoms of a physical and psychological dependency are difficult to separate at times. Depression and anxiety can cause an individual to have heart palpitations, feel pain, and make them faint. Physical symptoms can make a person lose sleep, feel depressed, and feel anxious.

May be further harmed if the physical dependence is managed with the addiction model. The body’s acclimation to the chronic presence of the medication results in neuroadaptations and, ultimately, a dependency on the medication. Physical dependence is important because the two issues are treated differently medically.

physical addiction

This then begins to have a greater impact on your body chemistry and brain function. If, after this, you try to quit drugs, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms, and should seek help from an experienced rehab center to get you through detoxification safely. This physical dependence occurs when your body physiologically adapts to an external substance. When this substance is taken away, you’ll suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Physical dependence is the result of actual changes within the brain, and it is entirely possible to be physically dependent on a substance without being addicted.

Withdrawal Stages

Anything that interrupts the typical connections between nerve cells in the brain can cause a seizure, a sudden and uncontrolled action that disturbs brain wave patterns. In addition to uncontrollable jerking movements, seizures can also cause temporary confusion, a loss of consciousness, a staring spell, and emotional symptoms such as fear or anxiety. Tremors, which are usually caused by a problem in brain regions that control movement, can cause a rhythmic shaking in the hands, arms, legs, or torso, a shaky voice, and difficulty writing or drawing. Trembling can also make holding and controlling a utensil challenging. The malfunctioning cells in the body can also cause trembling, or uncontrolled shaking. You take prescription medications, such as pain relievers or anxiety medications, when you don’t need them anymore.

Craving for Marijuana are common in regular and longtime users. Cravings can be triggered through events, locations, social circles or regular routines where smoking takes place. For instance, if a person smokes before going to bed every night, the bedtime routine may trigger cravings for Marijuana. The presence of Dependence, which typically manifests with withdrawal symptoms.

Unfortunately, not sleeping properly can lead to other health challenges that can negatively affect the body. Research shows that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease, weaken the immune system, cause memory issues, and lead to brain fog. If you believe you have an addiction, it’s never too late to look for help.

These peers become a valuable resource of encouragement and guidance during treatment and beyond. You may notice the words “addiction” and “physical dependence” used interchangeably. At North Jersey Recovery Center, we strive to make your addiction treatment experience as comfortable as possible. We make it easy to find the best treatment centers in the nation. Because stage models are organized, typically occur in a linear fashion, and are easy to conceptualize, they are often preferred by popular sources, such as support groups, the media, and laypeople.

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