When you rely on drugs or alcohol to get through the day, your judgment and decisionmaking skills become impaired. In order to get your life back on track, you should learn as much as you can about what’s happening to your mind and body. The difference between dependency vs. addiction describes the physical and psychological battles you face. However, thanks to facilities like Bayview Recovery Center, you don’t have to handle it on your own.
Dependency vs. Addiction
Dependency vs. addiction to drugs or alcohol have subtly different meanings. Although they are sometimes used interchangeably, addiction and dependency are two separate stages of substance abuse.
Physical dependency occurs following prolonged use of drugs. This includes some prescription drugs, which trigger dependence even when used as directed. For example, you may receive a prescription for pain medication following surgery. Over time, the doctor may need to increase the dosage as your body gets used to the drug. This is an example of dependence since you aren’t actively seeking the drug under illicit circumstances.
Addiction describes compulsive behavior with regard to drug or alcohol use. You continue to use the drug even after it leads to negative outcomes. You may abandon work and family obligations in order to acquire or use drugs.
What is the difference between dependency vs. addiction? Those dependent on a drug experience withdrawal symptoms. Psychological addiction to drugs causes obsessive behavior that can lead to relapse without appropriate coping skills.
Role of Genetics
According to the Cleveland Clinic, genetics plays a role in your predisposition to addiction. Those who drink occasionally and have a family history of addiction have a 20% risk of developing an alcohol abuse disorder — compared to a 10% risk for those without a genetic predisposition of addiction.
Some Drugs Are More Addictive than Others
Opioid abuse disorder involves both a physical dependence on the drug and mental addiction to the euphoric effects of taking the drug. Opioids increase the production of dopamine, which activates reward centers in the brain. In addition to needing the drug to avoid painful withdrawal, a powerful addiction causes your brain to crave the pleasant effects of being high.
In contrast, it takes longer to become physically dependent on alcohol. You may become addicted to the pleasant effects of getting drunk before your brain and body develop a physical addiction that may require medication-assisted detox to overcome.
Mental Health Co-occurring Disorders
During your time at Bayview Recovery, you may receive mental health treatment for underlying causes that contribute to your dependence on drugs or alcohol. Many of our clients discover that conditions such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder lie behind their need to self-medicate with illicit drugs.
Knowing the difference between dependency vs. addiction lays a firm foundation for discovering why you originally turned to drugs. Our dedicated therapists help you learn healthier coping skills to deal with your mental health issue more effectively. Additionally, cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy treatment teach you to accept your feelings and redirect negative thoughts.
Substance Abuse Treatment Program in Tacoma, WA
The more you learn about your dependency and addiction, the better equipped you become to put drug abuse behind you. Let the licensed therapists at our addiction treatment center help you determine the best programs for a successful recovery. Some of the programs that we offer include:
- Individual Therapy Program
- Group Therapy Program
- Recreational Therapy Program
- Experiential Therapy Program
At Bayview Recovery, we believe in our clients, and we do everything we can to guide you toward lifelong recovery. Contact us at 855.478.3650 to enroll in our program today.