There’s a lot of confusion about the difference between substance dependency and addiction. Before we address the question of what is chemical dependency, we want to make clear that any substance abuse problem is a significant problem. Even if the individual is not yet dealing with a full-blown addiction, they are likely days or weeks away from it. It’s essential that readers keep that in mind as they go through the following material.
What is Chemical Dependency?
Let’s start with the basics and look at the textbook definition of chemical dependency: “A physical and psychological habituation to a mood- or mind-altering drug, such as alcohol or cocaine, especially when resulting in addiction.” This seems simple enough to understand. However, a further explanation would likely be beneficial.
Remember, someone dependent on a chemical or substance does not necessarily have an addiction. There is a fine line between these two conditions, which experts define as the onset of withdrawal symptoms. In order words, a person who gets hit with significant withdrawal symptoms when not using has likely become a victim of addiction.
To better explain dependency, let’s look at the signs of addiction:
- Spending an excessive amount of time pursuing drugs
- Takes longer to come off a high
- Reluctance to even try cutting back
- Willingness to substitute similar substances when necessary
- Ignoring personal responsibilities
- Withdrawing from critical relationships with family and friends
- Unwillingness to stop using in spite of negative consequences
The best way for someone with substance dependency to avoid a full-blown addiction is to get help sooner rather than later.
Treating Dependency and Addiction
When clients enter one of our North Carolina facilities, we don’t distinguish between dependency and addiction. When we think about what is chemical dependency, we choose to consider both conditions to be equally dangerous.
The first step in the treatment process is body and mind cleansing. Experts refer to this as detoxing. The detoxing process starts when the user abstains from taking their substance of choice for an extended time. Given the potential dangers of withdrawal, the client is safer to go through a medically monitored detox program.
After they clear their mind and body of residual substances, the client should be able to submit to intensive counseling. The task at hand is simple: find the root cause of the addiction. If successful in this endeavor, the client will be able to develop life skills that will help compensate for their personal issues. A good solid set of life skills almost assures the client will have an excellent chance for a lasting recovery.
Holistic Treatment at Crest View Recovery Center
Upon entering one of our treatment facilities, clients will quickly discover we use a unique approach to treatment. We put much of the emphasis on addressing the overall wellness of the client. That means focusing on the client’s physical and mental health as well as their addiction.
We can facilitate this with the following treatment options:
- Reality-based inpatient and outpatient programs
- Dual diagnosis treatment with addiction as a primary condition
- Family therapy
- Holistic treatment options like yoga and meditation
- Nutrition and exercise education
Don’t overly concern yourself with what is chemical dependency. You likely already know if you have a problem or not. If there’s any chance you are moving towards an addiction, you should get help at Crest View Recovery Center. You can contact one of our professional staff members at 8663272505.