Differences Between Physical and Psychological Addiction

The reason for wanting to be alone can be because of shame or just the substance taking over one’s life. To combat addiction, it would be helpful to have loved ones help you overcome and be a part of your recovery life. There is also an overlapping of symptoms of psychological effects and physical effects. An example of one of these effects of overlapping symptoms is to redirect your food budget to buy the substance in question, which is a psychological effect. However, by doing this, you are unable to consume enough nutrients which in turn is a physical effect. As a fierce proponent of mental health services, Jess believes in the compassionate care and person-centered approach at All Points North. She works to create content that inspires clients and families to advocate for the support they deserve.

Hence, those with a substance use disorder suffer from issues with a physical dependence and a psychological dependence. Many substances can cause physical dependence, psychological dependence, or both. However, for many people, a combination of both physical and psychological dependence is common. Incarceration and legal issues are signs of the social effect of an addict. When analyzing whether or not legal issues caused by substance abuse is a psychological dependency versus a physical dependency, evidence suggests it is a symptom of psychological dependency. They need to do something illegal to get the substance of choice is a psychological dependence of that substance. During this first step, the objective is to remove the substance from your system completely. Many of us call this going “cold turkey.” This is the time when you may experience physical withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may vary in intensity, and health-care professionals know what to expect and how to help you. Classifying something as being either wholly physical or purely psychological indicates a misunderstanding of behavior as well as the brain and body connection.

Symptoms of Physical Addiction

Addictive disorders are highly treatable, and treatment at an inpatient or outpatient rehab can greatly increase the likelihood of long-term sobriety. People with physical dependence may benefit from inpatient detox or rehab to ensure a safe and successful withdrawal, and anyone with an addiction should seek out addiction treatment. If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol dependence, reach out today to a treatment specialist to explore what treatment options are available. People who struggle with an unhealthy and problematic dependence on drugs, alcohol, or other illicit substances are struggling with an addiction. In the past, the APA’s DSM 4 classified addictive disorders as either substance use, abuse, or dependence, depending on how severe the addiction was. People with dependence were classified as having the most serious form of addiction. In 2013, the APA did away with these terms and now classify all substance use disorders as either mild, moderate, or severe.

Substance use disorders are difficult to understand for many people. The physical and mental aspects of any substance disorder are complicated and unique to the individual suffering. The differences between physical and psychological dependency vary but have some similarities. It helps to know what to look for as a means of helping a loved one cope with the challenges. Physical addiction dependence versus psychological addiction dependence has some clear distinctions. Physical addiction manifests itself in a physical way affecting the body. Physical addiction dependency is chemical level changes in the brain that are changed by the addictive chemicals in the drugs. Many symptoms that are primarily psychological in nature do have some physiological basis. Symptoms of physical dependence can impact how you experience psychological symptoms.

Substance dependence and abuse

These effects can vary depending on the quantity abused and the type of drug being used. Over time, drugs can end up changing the chemistry in a person’s brain. The biggest difference between physical vs psychological dependence is that physical dependence is something a person physically feels or experiences. When people continue to use drugs or alcohol after becoming tolerant to them, they will develop a physical dependence where they experience withdrawal symptoms when they don’t take the drug. However, certain substances have a higher risk of physical dependence than others.

Is alcoholism physiological or psychological?

It makes sense that you're confused, because alcoholism can be BOTH a habitual (psychological) and a chemical (physical) addiction. Some people become dependent on drinking, and like your housemate(s), need the alcohol every night. Psychological dependence is drinking in order to function ‘normally’ and feel good.

Users are taught to control their desires and cravings for the substance, and to avoid situations that make them vulnerable to relapse. We use carefully monitored doses of Spravato to help patients struggling with complex mental health disorders, including severe depression. Because mental health and addiction concerns are so often interconnected, we utilize research-based approaches with evidence-based outcomes that promote overall healing and recovery. We teach patients why a physical vs psychological dependence matters and how to deal with both positively. There is a bit of an overlap when it comes to physical vs psychological dependence. Firstly, physiological dependence does not necessarily mean you or a loved one has a substance use disorder.

The restlessness that occurs when someone is not using substances. If you or a loved one are going through any of these conditions, do not go through it alone. Feel free to contact us at Sana Lake Recovery Center for all your recovery needs.
Eco Sober House
Nevertheless, it is estimated that 1 out of every 9 to 10 Marijuana user develop dependence, or an addiction to Marijuana. Remember, although there are some differences between physical and psychological addiction, there is often an overlap of the two categories. What is entirely true, however, is that the struggle with physical and psychological addiction symptoms is one that is very real, and very hard. If you’re feeling worried and lost in terms of seeking out help for your physical or psychological addiction, don’t be. There is so much help out there if you’re just willing to take the first step and ask for it.

Building a Tolerance to the Drug

Second, the DSM-V added the criteria of cravings or a strong urge to use substances. As an industry professional 12 Keys has become one of my most trusted resources. Patient care and engagement are always top notch, and I know that I can always trust that the patient and their families will be in the best position to recover. Solid clinically, and more importantly these are good and genuinely caring people. I cannot recommend 12 Keys at the River enough for those struggling with addiction. When you begin using drugs, your initial euphoric feelings are tied into the places and situations in which you use them. This practice helps patients learn to regulate emotions, communicate more effectively, and process their own thoughts and feelings..
psychological dependence vs physiological dependence
The user’s mind craves the substance, and the user may even be convinced he or she cannot function without the substance. This type of dependence requires rehabilitation, including therapy that generally teaching coping skills necessary to ward off compulsive behavior related to the use of the substance. Detoxification is a method for slowly weaning the body off a substance. Detoxification typically takes places at a medical facility or in-patient facility specializing in substance abuse disorders. The process takes several days, and sometimes several weeks, depending on the substance and the depth of the user’s dependence. A person’s mental illness may get worse as a result of psychological chemical dependency.

How does it compare to physical dependence?

It is so important for you to be able to differentiate between the two before you enter a drug rehab program. It’s true that when you’re struggling with addiction, it can be a very lonely experience — especially when you’re dealing with both physical and psychological issues from drug addiction. When the user goes without the substance, his or her body will experience painful and uncomfortable symptoms. Our addiction treatment programs combine world-class brain science and compassionate clinical care. Contact us today if you or someone Sober House you love is ready to regain control of their life. We want to help you live a thriving, enjoyable, purposeful, and sober life. Substances like drugs and alcohol disrupt this function, often causing insomnia, or a chronic lack of sleep. Unfortunately, not sleeping properly can lead to other health challenges that can negatively affect the body. Research shows that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease, weaken the immune system, cause memory issues, and lead to brain fog.

  • Exercising is a great way to get your mind off narcotics and it helps release endorphins throughout your body.
  • Receptors within your brain will become less sensitive, and you’ll need higher and higher doses of the drug to get the same effect.
  • Recovered is not a medical provider or treatment provider and does not provide medical advice.
  • Classifying something as being either wholly physical or purely psychological indicates a misunderstanding of behavior as well as the brain and body connection.
  • While others can’t observe it per se, a person suffering from it can feel the sensation.

In fact, physical dependence can be a distraction from another problem—addiction. Physical dependence is sometimes simply called dependence, but this phrasing can cause confusion because addiction is sometimes referred to as dependence as well. It’s common to sweep the thought of addiction under the carpet, and not to talk about it. However, a healthy and open dialogue needs to be encouraged to change the way people perceive physical and psychological addiction and the many modalities of treatment available. To understand what addiction is, you need to be aware of psychological dependence vs physiological dependence the difference between physical and psychological addiction as well as tolerance and dependence. We’ll touch on these here, and explore each in more detail below. The first step to getting clean is realizing — and admitting — that you have a substance abuse problem. The next step is identifying, either on your own or through the help of a rehab center, such as 12 Keys, whether your addiction is a physical or psychological one. Substance abuse is complex by nature and physical and psychological addiction can often overlap, so you may not know one from the other.
psychological dependence vs physiological dependence

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