Addiction vs Dependence: Whats the Difference? Delphi

Over time, this reliance can lead to a psychological dependence, where the substance becomes a perceived necessity. Some people do well at home with regular doctor visits and support groups. And sometimes it takes more than one type of treatment to be successful. People used to believe that addiction only happened in certain areas, like in inner cities, or among specific groups of people, like those who were down and  out. But addictions can happen anywhere, from college campuses to rural and suburban towns.


For example, alcohol dependence can lead to liver problems,11 heart disease, and even cancer. Opioids increase your risk for cardiac and respiratory problems.12 And illicit drug use has a high risk of overdose13 and death. Abuse and dependence are defined on a scale that measures the time and degree of substance use. As substance abuse becomes more frequent, the likelihood of developing a dependence disorder becomes greater. The difference between addiction and dependence can be difficult to understand.

Is There a Difference Between Physical Dependence and Addiction?

  • Participants taking buprenorphine/naloxone used opioids significantly less than those taking a placebo, based on the results of urine screening tests throughout the trial.
  • Each situation is unique, so knowing whether you or a loved one are experiencing dependence, addiction, or both can make all the difference in how you’ll proceed.
  • Recognizing the difference between an addiction and substance dependence can help to better understand the nature of addiction.
  • Consuming alcohol with Suboxone is dangerous and should be avoided due to the serious risk of severe side effects.
  • For instance, individuals may rely on a substance to cope with stress, anxiety, or other emotional challenges.
  • However, they may still experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking it.

Symptoms include fever, skin redness or discoloration, with small pustules covering large areas of the skin. If you notice these changes in your skin, you should contact Addiction vs Dependence: What is the Difference? your prescriber immediately and stop taking your medication. Xanax generally causes more side effects than hydroxyzine, but individual responses can vary.

Addiction vs Dependence: What is the Difference?

Importance of Seeking Professional Help

If you have begun to act irrationally and prioritize drugs or alcohol above anything else, it’s time to discuss your options with a professional healthcare team. When most people think of dependence on drugs or alcohol abuse, they typically think of the physical withdrawal symptoms that develop in response to the cessation period. For example, someone dependent on opioids will experience severe flu-like symptoms, like vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, cramps, etc. However, dependence and addiction are complex and often involve mental symptoms like increased depression and anxiety. Physical dependence on a substance (drug or alcohol) may be a component of addiction, but it does not itself equal addiction. Dependence is characterized by tolerance or withdrawal symptoms, and can be a consequence of many drugs, such as pain medications, stimulants, and antidepressants.

Addiction vs Dependence: What is the Difference?

Psychological Aspects of Addiction

Because of this confusion, some organizations prefer substance use disorder (SUD). Sometimes, severe withdrawal symptoms require monitoring from doctors in a hospital setting. With alcohol addiction, or severe alcohol use disorder, a person finds it difficult to stop drinking much of the time, not only in certain situations.

  • These are known as “triggers.” Something as simple as the act of driving can trigger a desire to use.
  • He decides to cut out this bad habit, but he soon starts drinking again.
  • Many users experience significant brain changes that alter their behavior as substance use worsens.
  • But the ICD has yet to catch up and since American billing systems and other records often rely on ICD, this conflation continues to cause problems both in the United States and rest of the world.
  • Just like with other diseases, sometimes you need multiple treatments or repeat treatments.
  • Some people do well at home with regular doctor visits and support groups.
  • Addiction and dependence can be complex conditions that require specialized care and support.

Addiction encompasses both a mental and physical reliance on a given substance. Treatment programs are often based on different theories and philosophies. So, it’s important to consult a doctor to find the best program for your needs. However, the desire to avoid withdrawal is what can eventually lead to addiction.

  • In this case, if the patient had been labeled with an addiction, they could have experienced pushback in their lives, such as shame or job loss.
  • Breaking the stigma surrounding addiction and dependence requires a collective effort.
  • In this article, we look at the differences between addiction and dependence and explore definitions, examples, and differences in treatment.
  • If that history lesson sounded confusing, that’s because it is, and there’s no way to simplify what happened.

What’s the difference between addiction and dependence?

How to Take Hydroxyzine and Xanax

Opioids, Cocaine, Cannabis, and Other Illicit Drugs – Our World in Data

Opioids, Cocaine, Cannabis, and Other Illicit Drugs.

Posted: Wed, 11 Dec 2019 17:34:07 GMT [source]

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