How Drug Addiction is Different Than Drug Dependence

The prescription drugs and Over-The-Counter drugs are effective in treatment of various kinds of diseases, disorders, reduce pain etc. But besides being used for medical purposes, these drugs have also got a strong tendency to result in addiction. Many doctors even avoid prescribing medications that have potential to cause addiction among patients. The terms addiction and dependence are often mistaken to have the same meaning. In initial stages, it is difficult to differentiate between addiction and dependence.


Drug Addiction and addiction consulting norfolk, va In drug addiction, the person becomes physically and psychologically dependent on drugs to such an extent that in spite of knowing about its negative consequences, the internal desire of the person to consume abusive substances dominates over the feeling to restrain. The person can go to any extent to procure the drugs. The person can become addicted after repeated use with increased dosage each time to get the same effect. Addiction can not be reduced by decreasing the amount of substance dosage gradually. Although the addicted person can get rid of physical dependence on substances, it is difficult for him to detach from psychological dependence. When the substance intake is suddenly stopped, the addicted person can not withstand the discomfort and agony due to withdrawal symptoms. Drug addiction has several negative effects on social, economical, and professional life.

Drug Dependence and addiction consulting Norfolk In drug dependence, the person becomes dependent upon the drugs to attain normal bodily function. A patient taking pain medications can become dependent on that substance. But the patient can become normal after controlled and prescribed use of medications. Suddenly stopping the substance intake produces withdrawal symptoms which indicate dependence on drugs. The withdrawal symptoms may include physiological symptoms like muscle cramps, tremors, seizures etc. The withdrawal symptoms may also include psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate etc. It is not always necessary that a patient who is dependent on substances will become addicted. The patient can get rid of dependence after gradually reducing dosage of medications. Many drugs like certain steroids, SSRI class antidepressant medications, and some antihistamines have shown a tendency to cause physical/psychological dependence. But there is no desire for addiction observed among patients who use these drugs.

Managing Drug Addiction and Drug Dependence There are various effective techniques, behavioral approaches, and medications that can be used to tackle drug addiction and dependence. Substance addicted people can be enrolled in various outpatient Drug-Free Programs which provide group, individual, and family counseling. Those addicted to opioids should be sent to Opioid Agonist Programs. Addicted persons can also be enrolled in Inpatient Rehabilitation programs which last from a few days to a few weeks. Therapeutic communities are long term residential programs for those addicted persons who do not benefit from other treatments.

Those patients who are physically dependent on medications will find it less troublesome while quitting the use of medications. But, such patients should not suddenly cease intake of medication voluntarily but should consult a doctor before taking such a step.

Thus, physical dependence on a substance can occur without having addiction, while a person can get addicted to drugs without going through physical dependence. Likewise, psychological dependence can occur without the person getting addicted but it can not be said that a person can get addicted without getting psychologically dependent.

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Topic revision: r1 - 2021-10-29 - reneeramos
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