You might think that physical dependence on a drug is the same thing as having a drug addiction. Although these two conditions can occur at the same time, your physical dependency might not be an addiction. Understanding the difference between the two will help you and a medical provider choose the right addiction treatment center in Oregon for you. Successful treatment is possible for both problems, but you need to know where to start.
Distinction Between Physical Dependence and Addiction
The medical community has a clear answer to the question, “What is physical dependence?” Being physically dependent on a substance means that your body needs it to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Many substances, such as nicotine, sugar, anti-depressants, and opioid painkillers, can result in physical dependency. Your body negatively reacts when you stop taking the substance because it relies on the drug to operate normally.
While dependency develops, the body will also need more of the drug to feel the same effects. If you stop taking it, your dependent body cannot overcome imbalances that occur when you use the substance. For example, opioids make your body rely on the drug to produce endorphins necessary to feel right. Without the substance, your body cannot function smoothly and makes you sick as a result.
Opioid painkillers cause withdrawal symptoms when people stop taking them. As a result, people who take them to manage chronic pain can eventually become physically dependent on the painkillers. Just because they cannot stop taking the pills without difficulty does not mean that they have an addiction.
An addiction involves a lack of control. If you have an addiction problem, you will take the substance even when you know that it is harmful. Negative consequences, such as losing your job or upsetting your family, will not keep you from using. Not all addictive substances trigger physical dependency. People can have an addiction to cocaine or methamphetamine without suffering severe physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop.
Addiction Can Involve Physical Dependence
Physical reliance on a substance can accompany addiction. An addicted person uses the drug for reasons beyond merely holding off withdrawal symptoms. Addiction upsets the decision-making areas of your brain. You may want to use the drug so that you feel normal or as a way to block out upsetting aspects of your life.
For these reasons, the addiction specialists at Sunstone Recovery look at all areas of your life. Our outpatient addiction treatment includes the option for family counseling. Family addiction counseling in Bend, OR, can build up your support network and help you get better. We also consider the possibility that mental illness could be driving your destructive behavior. Treatment for your anxiety or depression alongside addiction therapy improves your ability to become sober with dual diagnosis treatment programs in OR.
Differences in Treatment
If you have become physically dependent on a drug, but you don’t have an addiction, proven therapies will help you recover. Our approach is to manage your doses by gradually decreasing them medically. This allows your body to regain its normal abilities after suffering from physical dependence. Eventually, you will no longer need the drug.
Addiction recovery might require addressing physical dependency, but it must focus on the reasons for driving your behavior. Participating in addiction therapy programs in Oregon helps you understand why you are abusing a substance. As you learn to see your motivations, you will gain greater control over your behavior. Over time, therapy teaches your brain to make new choices.
Ask for Help
The physical dependence on a substance or outright drug addiction confronts you with complex problems. Contact Sunstone Recovery to choose your next steps toward recovery. Our addiction treatment center has helped many people set a new course in life. You can retake control with professional guidance. Call us at 855.833.9199 for help today.