While the two terms dependence and addiction are often used interchangeably, they are slightly different when it comes to addiction treatment and recovery. Dependence vs. addiction is when you are physically dependent on a substance. Your tolerance to the substance marks this. Also, physical symptoms arise when you are no longer using the substance. When addicted, you change your behavior because of substance abuse, and using the substance becomes the main focus. You can be dependent on a substance without being addicted to it, but they are closely related.
Dependence Develops For a Variety of Reasons
You can become dependent on your morning cup of coffee to wake you up because of the caffeine content. If you don’t get your coffee, you might be irritable, get a headache, or struggle to focus. This can happen if you are taking pain medication, as the longer you take a medication, the more your body gets used to it. What starts as the normal use of a substance can turn into physical problems when not using it if you aren’t careful. Dependence occurs when:
- More of a substance is needed to continue feeling the same effect
- Prescription medication stops being useful
- Tolerance builds
- Withdrawal symptoms occur when you try to use less of the substance
In fact, dependence often occurs before you become truly addicted to a substance. Therefore, it is important to recognize signs of dependence before you are dealing with a full-blown addiction.
Dependence Vs. Addiction and Recovery
When you experience dependence vs. addiction to a substance, your withdrawal symptoms may be less severe. With the right support, it’s possible to stop using a substance you are developing a tolerance or becoming dependent on. When you are addicted to a substance, it is much harder to detox from the substance on your own. Recovering from addiction should begin with professionally supervised detox because:
- It is not safe to withdraw from substances at home alone
- You get the care you deserve and the support you need to withdraw
- Professional detox gives you a strong chance at a full recovery
- Relapse is common for people who detox home alone
Support during your detox period will help guide you along the path of recovery. Start your recovery strong by finding a men’s and women’s detox center that can support your goals.
Watch for Signs of Addiction
If you are concerned about your dependence vs. addiction on a substance, it’s time to pay attention to signs of an addiction. You might need pain medication after surgery. If you start using your medication more than you are prescribed, you are heading toward an addiction.
As you get closer to addiction, the medication becomes more important than other things in your life. You might be thinking about it all the time and obsessing about getting more of it. If you have an addiction, this is dangerous for both your own personal health and well being as well as those around you.
Let your doctor know if pain medication is no longer effective at managing your pain after a surgery or injury. It is when you begin to take your medical treatment into your own hands that addiction begins to develop. Although you might believe that taking more pain medication will help control your pain, you are going to run out of your medication and end up addicted to the substance at the same time. Pay attention to your need for the medication and talk to your doctor about alternatives when you are concerned about types of addiction.
Don’t Ignore the Signs of Addiction
Should you notice these signs of addiction, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. There are a number of treatment options available that can help you overcome your addiction and get back to living a healthy lifestyle. Some of these include inpatient treatment programs, individual therapy sessions, or group support meetings.
If you believe you might have an addiction to a substance, it’s important to seek help right away. Remember that you are not alone, and there are many resources available to support you on your journey to recovery. With the right treatment and support, it is possible to overcome an addiction and live a healthy, happy life.
Help For Dependence Vs. Addiction
If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s time to get the help you deserve. Contact Tides Edge Detox at 866.723.3127, and begin your journey of healing. When addiction has taken over your life, it’s time to choose to end the control addiction has over you.