Physical Dependence vs. Psychological Dependence
What Is Dependence?
Developing dependence typically results from constant intake of addictive substances. The body’s chemical levels change, causing it to rely on the substance to function properly. When consumption of the drug ceases, the body may begin to experience certain withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can either be physical or psychological. Physical drug dependence relates to unpleasant physical symptoms, while psychology describes mental symptoms.
Addiction vs. Dependence
Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is a neuropsychological disorder defined by uncontrollable and repeated drug misuse despite the harm, danger, and consequences. It is caused by changes in the brain’s chemistry due to persistent substance abuse. Dependence is the reliance on a substance or, in other words, the symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal.
It may be difficult to distinguish dependence from addiction, especially when some medications, such as prescription pain medications, require increasing doses. Keep reading to learn more about physical and psychological dependence and their significance.
What Is Physical Dependence?
How Is Physical Dependence Different From Addiction?
Physical Dependence Symptoms
Lack of Sleep
Drug physical dependence may cause sleep problems. It may affect sleep quality, latency, and overall duration. With time, insomnia may increase in severity and may cause nightmares.
Certain medications, such as immune suppressants and asthma medicine, can cause trembling due to withdrawal.
Psychological Dependence Symptoms
Abusing Drugs Even When Health Problems Arise
Using Narcotics to Deal With Everyday Stressors or Problems
A constant obsession with a certain substance is a major symptom of psychological dependence. Some may be obsessed with the rewarding activity that occurs for a short time after taking the drug or medication.
Taking a Gamble
Taking Larger Doses
Difference Between Physical and Psychological Dependence
Physical dependence differs from psychological dependence based on the type of symptoms experienced from repeated substance use. For example, stomach pains, needing a higher amount of the substance to experience the same effects, seizures, vomiting, and trembling are all physical symptoms that result from developing a tolerance for and withdrawing from a drug.
Psychological dependence is characterized by the mental—emotional and cognitive—symptoms associated with substance use disorders. It is the result of developing or recovering from addiction and can be caused by tolerance and withdrawal.
Relationship Between Physical and Psychological Addiction
The relationship between physical and psychological addiction relates to their treatment procedures. Individuals experiencing physical addiction and dependence may require medical drug detoxification. With detox, individuals can experience physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal that range from mild to severe.
Get Treatment for Physical and Psychological Dependence
Drug detox involves clearing the body of harmful toxins from consistent substance use. Medically-assisted detox provides a safe environment where withdrawal symptoms are carefully and properly managed. In most cases, detox takes up to two weeks, but the duration usually varies depending on the substance. For instance, detox from benzodiazepines takes longer compared to that alcohol. The detox process involves evaluation and stabilization, and it’s advisable to undergo the process in a treatment facility.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) involves utilizing medications alongside counseling and behavioral therapies. MAT aims to provide a “whole-patient” approach to treating physical and psychological dependence on drugs. Studies show that the treatment procedure reduces the need for inpatient detox in various types of dependence. 4
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the major types of dependence treatment procedures. CBT helps individuals recognize poor behavioral patterns and develop coping skills. Mental health experts can also combine CBT with other therapeutic techniques like rational emotive behavior therapy.
Learn More With Concise Recovery
Concise Recovery provides addiction detox and recovery treatment. Our treatment facility focuses on the well-being and recovery of patients by combining the holistic and therapeutic approaches to treatment. Contact us today if you want to learn more about physical vs. psychological dependence.