Physical addiction primarily involves tolerance, or the body’s adaptation to a substance’s presence, often marked by accompanying withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation of the substance use. People who are physically dependent require increasing amounts of the substance to achieve the same effect and experience discomfort when trying to quit due to withdrawal symptoms. Dependence typically refers to the psychological and/or physiological adaptations that occur when the body is exposed to a stimulus over time. Detox programs are available at certain clinics and medical facilities, where they supervise a person’s drug withdrawal and provide supportive medications, where necessary. These clinics are usually staffed with a team of doctors and nurses who have experience with addiction and drug withdrawal.

Clinical Diagnosis

From 1999 to 2017, the number of alcohol-related deaths in the U.S. doubled, to more than 70,000 a year. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol-related deaths soared, reaching 178,000 in 2020 and 2021. Shape the future of healthcare and build your career within our diverse teams. Get personalized, coordinated care across Northern California through the Sutter network. If you have been consuming alcohol heavily for an extended period, quitting on your own has the potential to be dangerous. People who have a dependence on alcohol exhibit some or all of the following characteristics.

dependence vs. addiction which is worse

Back to Mental Health

Alcohol, on the other hand, often follows a slower, more insidious path of abuse before the body becomes dependent on it. What these strategies are depends on the substance or behavior a person wants to stop. Currently, the only behavioral addiction included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual addiction vs dependence of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR) main list is gambling disorder. According to a 2021 research article, healthcare professionals often misunderstand them, which can lead to misdiagnosis. Although they may seem similar, addiction and dependence are distinct concepts.

What Is Physical Dependence?

ICD codes have not been updated to reflect current understanding of addiction, unlike those in the DSM-5. The longer someone takes meth, and the higher the dosage, the more severely dependent on the drug they are likely to be. Withdrawal symptoms are optimally managed through a medical detox regime like that provided in a comprehensive treatment program. There are no specific medications designed to treat meth addiction; however, some medications can be helpful in managing specific symptoms of withdrawal like those that address depression, anxiety, and tremors. There is a clear need to better elucidate the most important predictors of treatment outcomes in patients with CUD. In this regard, more research is warranted to study other factors, such as those related to emotion regulation.

Addiction Is a Disease; Tolerance and Dependence Aren’t

Chemical dependency is broader and may include other physical signs like an increasing tolerance to the substance, or withdrawal symptoms when someone tries to quit or cut down on using it. Distinguishing between these concepts is essential in recommending the right treatments. Addiction recovery can involve addressing both physical and psychological health. People can have just a physical dependence, addiction, or both at the same time. This is when a person depends on a substance or behavior emotionally, such as when stressed. One trial evaluated cognitive flexibility and problem solving as potential predictors of treatment outcomes.

Mental Dependence Vs. Physical Dependence

Differences Between Substance Abuse, Dependence, & Addiction

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What Does Meth Feel Like?

dependence vs. addiction which is worse

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