Addiction vs Dependence: Differences In Drug Abuse Terms

October 21, 2020 no comments admin Categories Sober living

There are even perceived differences between addiction versus the abuse of a substance. A person who is chemically dependent on a drug might show different physiological changes around chronic usage, tolerance levels, and even withdrawal symptoms. A person being treated for physical dependency in the absence of any substance use disorder will be closely monitored by the prescribing healthcare provider as they taper or decrease the dosage slowly over time rather than all at once. Medications may be needed to reduce the impact of any withdrawal symptoms. When addiction is related to drugs or alcohol, the condition is also called a substance use disorder.

  • Being dependent on a drug and being addicted to a drug are two distinct, but related, concepts.
  • Addiction, on the other hand, is a psychological and behavioral disorder characterized by an obsessive need to use a substance, despite negative consequences.
  • You will likely be asked a series of questions about your usage and any effects it has had on your relationships and responsibilities.
  • In order to address these problems, the proposed changes for DSM-V include some changes in terminology.

In fact, it’s very important for medical professionals to get this right and differentiate between physiological dependence and the more complicated addiction construct because the diagnosis will help point to the best treatment option. Detoxification is not always needed—this depends on the extent of the withdrawal symptoms upon stopping drug abuse. In near every case of substance use disorders, however, therapy and education is an important step towards recovery. In this, the definitions of “substance abuse” (which referenced a mild form of addiction) and “substance dependence” (which represented more severe cases) were both replaced. Whether someone is suffering from dependence or addiction, one thing remains the same—getting professional treatment is essential. Treatment for substance abuse disorders has come a long way, and most people who seek treatment make a full recovery.

Nonprescription Medications

According to his family, Peterson nearly died several times during the detox process. On the other hand, a person becomes addicted to a substance after their habits create changes in the brain which affect their behavior. People who are addicted to drugs and alcohol have trouble functioning without substances and act irrationally when they don’t have access to their drug of choice. These changes have already been presented publicly at meetings of the American Psychiatric Association, the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD).

New Zealand’s first wet house opens in Wellington – 1News

New Zealand’s first wet house opens in Wellington.

Posted: Thu, 28 Sep 2023 06:45:54 GMT [source]

That alone isn’t always an addiction, but it can accompany addiction. In medical practice, to get a diagnosis of a substance use disorder, there first needs to be a careful diagnostic interview conducted by a mental health professional. The interviewer assesses whether there is a problematic pattern of substance use or behaviors that are causing a person distress and impairment in their functioning to the point that it’s considered clinically significant. When someone uses the term “dependence,” they’re often referring to someone becoming physically dependent on a drug. This means they’ll experience withdrawal symptoms if they decrease the dose or halt use altogether, or they’re unable to experience the effects of the drug at the dose they’ve become used to, known as tolerance.

What is Drug Addiction?

…resulted in confusion among clinicians regarding the difference between “dependence” in a DSM (IV) sense, which is really “addiction,” and “dependence” as a normal physiological adaptation to repeated dosing of a medication. The result is that clinicians who see evidence of tolerance and withdrawal addiction vs dependence symptoms assume that this means addiction, and patients requiring additional pain medication are made to suffer. Similarly, pain patients in need of opioid medications may forgo proper treatment because of the fear of dependence, which is self-limiting by equating it with addiction (764–765) [6].

addiction vs dependence

One particular area of misinformation concerns how the use of language is employed when describing topics related to addiction. Dependence on a drug can certainly lead to a substance abuse disorder (SUD). According to the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), there’s not really a distinction between dependence and abuse anymore. Rather, the manual defines substance abuse disorders as mild, moderate, or severe.

How Exactly Does Yoga Help in the Recovery Process?

When physical dependency emerges, addiction often closely follows. SUD creates changes in the brain that make it particularly difficult to stop using the drug. Depending on the substance and the severity of addiction, a person can experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms and cravings when attempting to stop, making it all the more difficult to refrain from continuing using. Unlike tolerance, which focuses on how much of the substance you need to feel its effect, physical dependence happens when your body starts to rely on the drug. If you were to suddenly stop using it, you would likely experience some harsh symptoms.

This indicates the presence of at least a mild substance use disorder. If a person does need to medically detox, they should find a detox center or rehab facility that specializes in those treatments. Medical detoxes are usually done in an inpatient or hospital settings, rather than in outpatient facilities. A clinician oversees medical detoxes and uses medications and other methods to help people safely go through the withdrawal process.

Causes of SUD and Dependency

If you think you have a dependence or addiction, contact a treatment provider today for help. Addiction is a disease characterized by behavioral issues, and dependence refers to a physical reliance on a substance. The two conditions often occur at the same time, but a person can be dependent on a substance without being addicted to it. Addiction is defined as the behavior of someone who keeps abusing substances, despite negative consequences.

  • If you can’t function properly in the morning without your cup of coffee, it could be that you are caffeine-dependent.
  • Whether you’re in the early stages or have a full-blown disorder, the earlier you get help, the greater your odds of overcoming this successfully.
  • One study showed that a child of a parent with a drug or alcohol addiction is eight times more likely to develop an addiction as well.
  • The World Health Organization also wanted to replace the medical designation of “addiction” with the word “dependence” back in 1964 (which probably contributed to the confusion).