If you are wondering, “What is physical dependence?” you are not alone. Professionals often use physical dependence to describe types of addiction that relate to the body. Physical dependence often contrasts with psychological dependence. If you are struggling with drug addiction and need a drug addiction treatment program, you may experience physical dependence either on its own or combined with psychological components. Understanding the concepts of dependency will help you address your recovery with the right combination of treatments.
Physical Dependence vs. Psychological Dependence
When a person takes a substance for sufficient periods, their body grows tolerant of it and its effects. As substance abuse continues, the body becomes so used to the chemicals that it develops a physical dependence. For many substances, this process also creates withdrawal symptoms when a person stops using the drug or tries to reduce their intake. Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Dehydration from sweating and vomiting
- Insomnia and restlessness
- Paranoia and other mental health effects
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Flu-like symptoms like chills and runny nose.
Withdrawal symptoms can vary from mildly irritating to life-threatening, depending on the substance or combination of substances. Opioids and alcohol provoke the most severe withdrawal symptoms in those with physical dependence. Extra medical attention can help a person break free of both psychological and physical dependence. People use medications to reduce pain and symptoms during a drug detox program. Within days or weeks, withdrawal symptoms subside. The use of detox medication continues until it is no longer needed. This transition is far healthier and gentler than going “cold turkey”. You have a higher chance of relapsing if you quit all at once thanks to the unpleasant symptoms caused by physical dependence.
What Addictions Commonly Involve Physical Dependence?
Many drugs are known for creating physical dependence on regular users. Even marijuana can produce withdrawal symptoms after heavy use for weeks or months at a time. Most forms of opioid drugs, which include everything from morphine to common prescription painkillers, also create physical dependence after some time. Other prescription medications like anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, sedatives, and stimulants trigger unpleasant symptoms if you suddenly stop taking them. Always consult a doctor before stopping any prescribed medications. Seek out professional addiction counselors if you are trying to quit using an illegal substance. Suddenly quitting any substance use routine without guidance can result in medical emergencies.
Treatment Options for Dependence and Addiction
Whether you are experiencing a physical dependency on a substance or need addiction counseling and treatment, you have plenty of options. Some of the many choices for dealing with physical and psychological dependence include:
- Detox programs that support you through the most challenging symptoms caused by withdrawal
- Residential treatment programs that involve a family therapy program to ensure guests have plenty of support upon graduation
- Wellness programs focus on yoga, physical exercise, and mental health services to build a new lifestyle
- A partial hospitalization treatment program (PHP) and an intensive outpatient treatment program (IOP) plans for guests who have many obligations to fulfill while seeking treatment
- A wide range of counseling options, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, traditional 12 step group programs, and alternative self-help techniques.
Through treatment, professionals use a lot of different techniques to tend to psychological dependence. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) involves a great deal of in-depth talking. CBT discussions explore thoughts, feelings, and emotions associated with psychological dependence. CBT helps patients explore the thought process associated with addiction. With this therapy, individuals can recognize when emotions stem from addiction, and when their thought processes work against sobriety.
Contact Ethan Crossing For Physical Dependence Treatment
Ethan Crossing Recovery is an addiction recovery center located in Springfield, Ohio. Their treatment programs focus on both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. Additionally, at Ethan Crossing Recovery, clients have access to a range of programs, including:
- Drug detox programs
- Residential treatment programs
- Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
- Outpatient treatment programs
We focus on family engagement and attention to a sustainable recovery. Ethan Crossing Recovery has helped many patients find their way to sobriety. If you or a loved one needs help with addiction, contact us at 833.691.0736 so you can learn more about our programs.