Addiction is a complex disease. Not only can it impact a person’s physical well-being, but it also can cause significant mental chaos. That said, there’s a significant difference between physical dependence and psychological dependence.
When people think of the term “drug dependence”, the physical aspect is generally the first thing that comes to mind. Whether it’s a harmful illicit drug like heroin or something seemingly harmless like caffeine, your body responds adversely without the substance. This is called physical dependence.
Regardless of your substance of choice, users will go through withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to quit. Different substances cause different withdrawal symptoms. At a minimum, they’ll be uncomfortable. For long-term users, however, the withdrawal process can even be deadly.
While a medical detox can go a long way to addressing physical dependence, those with a psychological dependence will require much more.
Unlike physical dependence, psychological dependence occurs when people experience a mental desire for their substance of choice. Marijuana is a popular example. Although it lacks the physically addictive qualities of alcohol or heroin, people who smoke marijuana regularly make “getting high” a top priority in their lives.
You can develop a psychological dependence to virtually any substance. When individuals use drugs or drink alcohol, it triggers dopamine release, which initially makes individuals feel great. Problems arise, however, when people use to re-create those feelings.
If you’ve found that chasing a high is interfering with other elements of your life, it may be time to seek substance abuse treatment programs at a professional rehab facility.
Breaking Physical and Psychological Dependence
Many individuals start the addiction recovery process at a medical detox facility. While this process effectively cleanses the body of harmful drug use, detox by itself doesn’t automatically lead to recovery. In essence, this process is only addressing physical dependence. It takes more to break you or your loved one’s psychological dependence.
A professional rehab facility like Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, North Carolina can teach individuals how to change addictive behaviors and embrace recovery.
Beating psychological dependence on drugs or any substance is a little like quitting smoking. With the help of a licensed psychiatrist, you’ll learn how to “outsmart” the cravings by altering your routine and substituting healthy behavior like yoga therapy and meditation therapy.
Physical activity helps keep your mind off of drugs. So is family support. Your family relationships may have been damaged while you were suffering from addiction. Through family therapy, we’ll help your family understand your addiction and help you mend broken relationships.