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The Difference between Addiction and Physical Drug Dependence

The Difference between Addiction and Physical Drug DependenceThe terms addiction and physical drug dependence are often used interchangeably but they can often refer to different conditions. Many Des Moines residents believe that if one is physically dependent on a drug, he has an addiction. If you look at the definitions of addiction and physical drug dependence, however, you find that the words can refer to two separate problems. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines an addiction as “a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” Physical dependence, on the other hand, can occur apart from addiction when the body becomes accustomed to having a drug present. In this case, if the drug is taken away, the user often suffers from withdrawal symptoms as the body deals with the removal of the chemicals.

Are All Dependent Users in Des Moines Addicts?

Having a physical drug dependence does not necessarily make a Des Moines resident a drug addict. If you have been using a prescription pain medication for an extended period of time, your body may adjust to the constant presence of the drug to the point that, if you stop using the drug, your body has to readjust. As the body goes through those chemical changes, you are likely to experience negative side effects referred to as withdrawal symptoms. After extended use, you may also become physically tolerant to the drug, which causes you to need higher doses of medication to regulate your pain. This can also be considered a case of physical dependence without addiction.

Are All Addicts in Des Moines Physically Dependent?

If a Des Moines resident is addicted to a drug, it does not necessarily mean that he is also physically dependent since some drugs do not commonly cause a physical dependence. Certain drugs, such as LSD, cause psychological dependences rather than physical dependences. Although physical drug dependence and addiction are often associated, that is not always the case.

Is a Des Moines Resident’s Addiction Treated Differently Than Drug Dependence?

Addiction and drug dependence are different problems and may require different treatments. Des Moines residents being treated for physical drug dependence often undergo medically supervised detox, which allows the body to readjust to the absence of the substance. Medical staff can monitor your health status and alleviate the discomforts of withdrawal symptoms.

Addiction treatment differs for each individual patient because each addiction is unique, so your treatment plan should be tailored to your needs. A variety of treatment options are available, depending on the severity of your addiction and which stage of recovery you are in. Professional treatment programs can address your individual needs, deal with both physical and psychological addiction components and provide aftercare.

Finding Help for Des Moines Residents with Addiction or Physical Dependence

If you or someone you love in Des Moines is struggling with a drug addiction or physical drug dependence, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and help you find the right treatment program for your situation. Take the first step toward regaining a healthy lifestyle. Please call now.