What is the difference between addiction & dependence?

For example, if you get into an argument with a significant other, your first response will be to pick up a six-pack of beer or call your dealer for illicit drugs. These triggers set off biochemical changes in your brain, which influence addictive behavior. Untreated substance use disorders addiction vs dependence – whether they are mild or severe – can be detrimental to a person’s mental, physical, emotional, social, and even financial health. That is why professional treatment is always recommended, no matter whether a person is dependent on a drug or has a full-blown addiction to it.

Amid the wreckage, Julie Thompson, a nurse practitioner who grew up in the area, estimates that 75% of her addiction patients are currently housed, though not always consistently. Those with the most hurdles — addiction, mental illness, criminal convictions and poverty, in the case of housing — are most likely to be stuck at the end of the line and shut out of a tight market. Connect with thousands of patients and caregivers for support and answers. I’ve been taking Clonazepam, 1mg at bedtime, originally for anxiety, but along the way I found that it keeps me from acting out my dreams, something my wife did not appreciate.

Mental Dependence Vs. Physical Dependence

To reiterate, the DSM-5 dropped the categories of « substance dependence » and « substance abuse, » and so the claim that substance abuse disorder is the preferred term for drug addiction is inaccurate. According to the DSM-5, it is possible to meet diagnostic criteria for a substance use disorder without having tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. That said, for many, but not all, substances, tolerance and withdrawal are often part of the package of symptoms of a substance use disorder. Dependence on a drug can certainly lead to a substance abuse disorder (SUD). According to the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), there’s not really a distinction between dependence and abuse anymore.

  • A person who is addicted typically struggles to meet work, social, and/or family obligations.
  • While it is possible to have a physical dependence without being addicted, addiction is usually right around the corner.
  • Some nuances can make it difficult to determine if someone is addicted or dependent on a substance.

While dependence and addiction are often used interchangeably, they are different. Because of this confusion, some organizations prefer substance use disorder (SUD). The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics says more than 20 million people over the age of 12 in the United States have substance use disorder. Most commonly, the cases are related to marijuana and prescription pain relievers. Addiction is considered “highly treatable.” But it can take a few tries for the therapy to be fully effective. Let’s examine how the world views addiction versus dependence in relation to substance abuse disorders.

How to Determine if You are Dependent or Addicted

This addictive behavior can be personally destructive to a person. Over time, addicts start to lose not only their jobs, homes, and money, but also friendships, family relationships, and contact with the normal world. Addicts have a desperate https://ecosoberhouse.com/ view of the world, in which the only priority is securing the next high. Sometimes, drug dependence and addiction are accompanied by underlying mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, eating, trauma, and stress-related disorders.

addiction vs dependence

Working with a health care professional will allow you to explore the options to treat your addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that tolerance occurs in a drug or alcohol user when the user needs more of the drug or alcohol to get the same effect that occurred during the initial periods of intake. It’s a grim scenario that unfortunately is found in many drug abuse cases year after year.

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