Physical dependence, or drug dependence, happens when an individual needs one or more drugs to function in everyday life. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) used to differentiate between abuse and dependence. Experts considered abuse to be the early phase of drug use that led to physical dependence. Many people view dependency as a more severe problem than abuse. Now the APA has replaced abuse with substance use disorder. Many people use the terms dependence and addiction interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. To recover from either addiction or dependence, it’s necessary to get help from addiction treatment services in Texas.
What Is Addiction?
Addiction can happen without a person being dependent on drugs. Addiction can include using drugs despite the consequences, not being able to stop using drugs, and neglecting work and social obligations because of drug use.
What Is Physical Dependence?
It’s also possible to be dependent on drugs without becoming addicted. Dependence can be the body’s response to a particular substance. This can occur if you need to rely on medications to control medical conditions, such as diabetes, glaucoma, or high blood pressure. Dependence can involve some of the symptoms of addiction, and there can be symptoms of withdrawal when you try to stop using the drug.
How Can Abuse Lead to Physical Dependence?
There are different triggers for substance use disorders. These include:
- Having a family history of addiction
- Drugs are readily available in your environment
- Occurrences of anxiety
- Current or previous periods of depression
- History of mental health conditions
Users usually go through certain stages on the way to dependence. The drugs are first used for reaction and taken in social settings. Then an individual will start to use the drug regularly and abandon friends and family for drug use. An individual can become addicted to the drug or drugs and build more tolerance to the effects. The last stage is dependence, where an individual is unable to live without drugs, and their mental and psychical health deteriorates.
What Are Some Physical Dependence Symptoms?
Physical dependence symptoms can be apparent if you know what to look for. If a person addicted to a drug hasn’t used them for a certain period, this can cause physical reactions and mental health disorders. These symptoms include:
- Body Aches
- Muscle Weakness
Physical Dependence Versus Mental Dependence
Psychological dependence is when the use of substance ties to a feeling or event. These events and emotions are called triggers. The act of driving can be simple enough to trigger a use. These triggers set off changes in the brain that influence addictive behavior. Triggers can include feeling an intense desire to use alcohol or drugs, nervousness or anxiety, and tightness in the stomach. When both symptoms of mental and physical dependence are apparent, addiction is usually present. The main characteristic that distinguishes addiction from dependence is the combination of physical and psychological dependence, along with uncontrollable behavior in using a substance.
Treating Physical Dependence
When the drug abuse worsens to dependence, substance abuse treatment can become more complicated. Individuals need to stop using the drug, but doing so without proper treatment can cause physical symptoms. Individuals need the help of a provider that can rid the body of the substances. Extreme cases of withdrawal, overdose, or intoxication may need emergency care before dependence and addiction can be treated.
If left untreated, dependence on drugs can be dangerous. As the body adapts to a drug, more of the drug is needed to achieve the same effects, and this can result in overdose and death. Treatment can help reverse dependence, but an individual must want to seek treatment. Contact 866.238.3154 to get help for drug abuse and physical dependence and be on the road to recovery.