Physical and psychological addiction: What’s the difference?

To truly get the most from your addiction treatment, you need to be able to understand the dynamics, so ongoing education and aftercare help is a huge part of getting clean. With determination and physiological dependence on alcohol courage, you can beat your drug addiction, and life can be good again. If you’re feeling worried and lost in terms of seeking out help for your physical or psychological addiction, don’t be.

Let what you’ve learned about the physiological effects of addiction be a motivating reason to take that step now. You don’t need to do all the work alone, but you can seize the opportunity to put yourself or your loved one in the best possible environment to repair the body, heal the mind, and free the spirit from the bonds of drug dependence. Medication may be needed as part of the alcohol recovery program to speed the brain’s return to healthy activity. More natural methods of achieving relaxation can help bridge the gap during treatment. Researchers and treatment professionals have many theories on the precise process that causes addiction, with a varying focus on the body or brain sides of treatment. Sober living communities incorporate the most effective techniques drawn from these new ways of thinking about the disease.

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It is important to know that while we will separate physical and psychological addiction into sections to help explain each, the two types of addiction can and do overlap. The first step to getting clean is realizing — and admitting — that you have a substance abuse problem.

Substance Misuse in College Students – Psychiatric Times

Substance Misuse in College Students.

Posted: Wed, 25 May 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

The psychological aspects of addiction are sometimes so tortuous that they are the hardest symptoms to overcome. Substance use disorders are difficult to understand for many people. The physical and mental aspects of any substance disorder are complicated and unique to the individual suffering.

Psychological Dependence Versus Physical Dependence Versus Addiction

These associations are so strong they can activate your brain’s reward system in the same way it would react to the substance of your choice being in front of you. That’s why just being around these people, places, or things can create intense cravings and urges to use substances. It’s important that any form of substance abuse treatment focuses on identifying triggers and teaching you healthier ways of dealing with them. Treatment methods for psychological vs physical dependence are largely the same.

  • Protracted withdrawal syndrome can last for months, years, or depending on individual factors, indefinitely.
  • Activation of prefrontal cortex and anterior thalamus in alcoholic subjects on exposure to alcohol-specific cues.
  • More direct evidence supporting increased alcohol consumption as a consequence of repeated withdrawal experience comes from animal studies linking dependence models with self-administration procedures.
  • North Jersey Recovery Center believes that addiction is a disorder that affects both the body and mind.
  • As your body gets used to whichever substances you’re taking, you’ll need more and more drugs to achieve the same effect.

In therapy, you’ll typically explore patterns that trigger your use and work to create new patterns of thought and behavior. You feel a sudden onset of panic because you’re about to give a huge presentation. You’re gripped with fear that you’ll fumble your words or screw up the slides because you didn’t get your caffeine boost.

Professional Treatment for Physical and Psychological Dependence

So, as we delve deeper into the mechanics of addiction, keep in mind that there are new treatments which will guide you through these stages and forward into full recovery. Wand GS, Dobs AS. Alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in actively drinking alcoholics. Naltrexone decreases craving and alcohol self-administration in alcohol-dependent subjects and activates the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. Effect of naltrexone and ondansetron on alcohol cue-induced activation of the ventral striatum in alcohol-dependent people. Miller NS, Gold MS. Dissociation of “conscious desire” from and relapse in alcohol and cocaine dependence.