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Addiction Vs Dependence

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Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs are legal and can be found in almost any community. But they can also have serious consequences if used irresponsibly. So what is the difference between alcohol dependency and dependence? And how can you tell the difference? The answer to these questions will largely depend on your personal background and situation. Some people may qualify for treatment based on this factor alone, but others may require more specific answers. Let’s take a look at what we know about addiction vs dependence when it comes to alcohol, tobacco, prescription medications, and more.

Definition of Addiction and Dependent

The difference between addiction and dependence is crucial when trying to find the right treatment path for yourself or your loved one. An addiction is a pathological relationship with a substance that causes cognitive and behavioral changes in the user. Dependence is a different type of relationship with a substance. People who are dependent on a drug like alcohol, tobacco, or prescription medications will experience clear signs of withdrawal if they stop using. However, most people who use substances without significant risk of addiction will not experience any problem if they occasionally miss a day or two. People who are dependent on a substance, but not addicted, are not in any danger of hurting themselves or others with their substance use.

What is addiction?

Addiction is a medical condition characterized by compulsive and uncontrollable recurrent use of a drug despite harmful consequences. For the addicted individual, the drug becomes the center of the individual’s life instead of a means to an end. The addicted individual loses control over their use of the drug, and their quality of life rapidly deteriorates. The severity of addiction varies from person to person, but it is generally agreed that addiction is an illness that requires professional treatment. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is the official diagnostic manual for all health professionals who work with patients. According to the DSM-5, addiction is a disease that affects the brain’s reward system. When a person uses a drug, a chemical reaction takes place in the brain that is similar to the reaction that occurs when a person eats a piece of delicious food. The dopamine reward system is activated when someone eats a piece of chocolate or takes a hit of cocaine. When a person uses a drug, the brain gets a rush of dopamine, which is like getting a piece of chocolate. The person then wants to have another hit of the drug to get more dopamine, and the cycle continues.

What is dependence?

Dependence is when your body becomes accustomed to having a certain substance in your system. If used less frequently, the body’s natural ability to function will return. However, if you stop using the substance suddenly, your body will experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, insomnia, and even seizures. If you use the substance in moderation, you will not experience any of these symptoms. If you use the substance more than once a week, you are dependent on it. When alcohol is consumed regularly, part of the body’s natural systems becomes adjusted to having alcohol in the body. The liver and stomach are used to processing the alcohol, and when they start to work without the alcohol present, they produce painful symptoms. When a person uses alcohol too much, they are dependent on it. Alcohol dependence can cause liver damage and pancreatitis.

The Differences Between Addiction and Dependence

Addiction and dependence are two sides of the same coin. There are no clear-cut differences between them based on the data, except for the fact that some people are more prone to one or the other. In many cases, addiction is a result of a chronic underlying condition that causes dependence, but not everyone with dependence will develop an addiction. We will examine the risk factors and symptoms of addiction and dependence below and see how they are different.

Problems with drug/alcohol use are signs of addiction. Problems with drug/alcohol use are signs of dependence. Withdrawal symptoms when using drugs/alcohol are signs of addiction. Withdrawal symptoms when using drugs/alcohol are signs of dependence. Drug/alcohol use interferes with important life functions. Drug/alcohol use does not interfere with important life functions.

How to tell the difference between addiction and dependence?

It’s important to distinguish between addiction and dependence so that you can make an educated decision about your own health and well-being. There are several ways to tell the difference between addiction and dependence, but it will ultimately come down to your personal experience and how your body responds to certain substances.

  • If you have an addiction, it is usually extremely difficult for you to stop using drugs/alcohol even when you know it is hurting you. When you stop, you will experience physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. In many cases, even when you know it is not good for you, you still find yourself going to your “drug friends” to get your fix.
  • If you are dependent on a substance, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the substance. You may also experience negative side effects when you don’t use the substance, as well as poor performance when you are not using. All of these are signs that your body is used to having a certain substance in its system.

Risk factors for addiction

There are many risk factors that may increase a person’s likelihood of developing an addiction to drugs/alcohol, but the most important is the presence of a mental disease.

  • Genetic predisposition: Your family history is one of the strongest risk factors for developing an addiction. Having a family member with an addiction is a sign that you too may have a genetic predisposition for developing an addiction.
  • Psychosocial factors: These include a history of abuse, a traumatic experience, and poor social functioning.
  • Drug/alcohol use as a teenager: Teenagers who use drugs/alcohol are more likely to become addicted than adults. The age of 18 is the ideal age to stop using substances because this is the age when your brain is still developing.

Symptoms of addiction

  • Withdrawal symptoms when using drugs/alcohol are signs of addiction. Withdrawal symptoms when using drugs/alcohol are signs of dependence. When you stop using a substance, you will experience physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. Some common withdrawal symptoms include nausea, dizziness, headaches, restlessness, shakiness, increased heart rate, vomiting, insomnia, and even seizures.
  • Drug craving is a psychological craving for a substance. Drug cravings are usually linked to withdrawal symptoms.
  • Drug seeking is when you go looking for drugs. Drug seeking is usually linked to a negative experience or failure.

Help for alcohol, tobacco, and other substance abuse and dependency

There are many treatment options available when dealing with substance abuse or dependency. These include outpatient programs, inpatient programs, and residential programs. You can also always try to find the help you need within your community by contacting local schools, healthcare professionals, and support groups. Remember, you can never be too safe when it comes

Zorba Wellness – de addiction centre in Chennai, can help you or your loved ones get rid of your addiction issues.

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