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The Difference Between Addiction and Dependence

Sep 30

In short, addiction is the uncontrollable need for a drug, whereas dependence is the gradual attachment and tolerance to the drug. The difference is measured in the volume of use. Substance abuse often begins as dependence and advances to addiction. Addiction has now been formally recognized as a disease, but was once referred to as substance abuse disorder. In recent years, the terms "dependence" and "addiction" have been swapped for the same purpose, as the former was associated with a stigma. Those struggling with chemical dependence or addiction can get help at All In Solutions, a leading behavioral health provider with multiple locations throughout the United States. 

Dependence is a disease

Chemical dependence is a disease and should not be looked upon as a social stigma. This disease is treated in the same way as other illnesses, with the goal of rehabilitating the patient and teaching them how to live without substances. It is a lifelong disease and requires lifelong monitoring and abstinence.

To achieve this goal, treatment programs should provide a comprehensive physical examination and monitor other health conditions. Some diseases are more common among individuals with chemical dependence. Moreover, treatment programs may include family strengthening services, such as counseling, childcare, and domestic violence prevention or response services. Some programs may also provide drug rehabilitation services.

All In Solutions Counseling Center

Addiction is a behavioral response

The term addiction refers to the behavioral response to dependence on a substance or activity. It involves a person's compulsive seeking, progressive increase in consumption and negative affective state after withdrawal. It can be based on any behavior or substance, including alcohol or drugs.

Behavioral addictions are closely related to substance abuse, and they respond to the same treatment methods. In order to be diagnosed, a person with a behavioral addiction must stop using the substance or behavior, despite the negative consequences. Mental health professionals can develop a treatment plan for the individual based on the individual's needs.

People who are suffering from mental health issues are more likely to develop an addiction to a substance or activity. These substances can help them cope with painful feelings and emotions, but they may make these problems worse. Peer pressure also plays an important role in the development of an addiction, particularly in young people. Additionally, difficult family situations and lack of parental supervision can increase a person's risk of addiction.

They are not mutually exclusive

Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, they do not have the same definition. Dependence can be physical or psychological. Physical dependence can result in withdrawal symptoms and increased tolerance to the substance. Psychological dependence, on the other hand, may be due to the person's perception of the effects of the substance. This can include cognitive issues, such as concentration, memory, judgment, and problem-solving abilities.

Addiction and dependence are often viewed as mutually exclusive, though they are not. While the two concepts have many similarities, the distinction between the two is important. Addiction is characterized by psychological and physical needs and behavior. The use of drugs and alcohol is a form of compulsive behavior. Consequently, physical dependence can be treated with a variety of approaches, including medication.

alcohol abuse, dependence, addiction

They affect the brain's reward system

Addiction and dependence affect the brain's reward system in a number of ways. The reward pathway is located in the limbic system and comprises a number of core structures including the amygdala and the hypothalamus. Drug abuse alters the functioning of this system and can lead to addiction.

The reward center is important because it triggers positive emotions and behavior. For example, eating good food, having sex, or making art can all trigger this part of the brain. This reward circuit contains areas that are associated with memory and motivation. Using substances that cause an elevated dopamine release can overwhelm the brain's reward center, and result in addiction.

The reward pathway in the brain controls the pleasure and satisfaction we get from different activities. When we engage in sexual activity, chemicals from this reward pathway are released, and this activity becomes associated with a feeling of well-being. This process has evolved to help us survive as a species.

addiction as a brain disease

They affect relationships

Addiction and dependence can impact relationships and the lives of those close to the addict. It often causes the addict to put their personal needs before the needs of others. This can result in unhealthy or abusive behavior. In addition, the addict may become less reliable and unreliable and can begin lying or deceiving others. Such behavior is harmful because it leads to a toxic one-sided relationship.

The first step in treating relationship addiction is understanding why it develops. It is important to understand that most addicted people have relationship issues that were present before they became addicted. These issues can be rooted in childhood abuse or depression. Self-medicating at a young age can compound these issues.