What Is The Difference Between Psychological And Physical Addiction?

A depressant is a drug that tends to suppress central nervous system activity. These drugs share in common their ability to serve as agonists of the gamma-Aminobutyric acid neurotransmitter system. Because GABA has a quieting effect on the brain, GABA agonists also have a quieting effect; these types of drugs are often prescribed to treat both anxiety and insomnia. The biology of the brain, therefore, has physiological dependence on alcohol a great effect on the formation of psychological addictions – more on this below. Most are familiar with what physical addiction looks like, but the severity of psychological addiction is often overlooked. Over time, you realized you need your drug to keep from feeling “dope sick.” Dope sick is withdrawal. Withdrawal means you experience ill feelings because your body needs the drug to function normally.

The destructive behaviors borne of addiction are mostly a product of uncontrollable cravings and are among the principal motivators of substance abuse itself. Severe drug cravings are hallmarks of all substance-based habits and are the result of adversely altered brain chemistry.

Common Drugs That Cause Physical Addiction Vs Psychological Addiction

The diagnosis of a substance use disorder is based on behavioral criteria that are formulated into diagnostic symptoms by APA. Many psychoactive drugs are capable of inducing both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation of use and promoting both forms of dependence. Symptoms believed to be primarily psychological in nature, such as cravings, are also commonly theorized to be driven by physiological processes. Likewise, conditions generally considered to be physiological, such as physical dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal, can be clinically-connected with psychological factors that impact their outward presentation. Still, this phrasing can lead to confusion because it leaves out deep-rooted psychological factors that contribute to the condition. It also confuses the issue between physical dependence and full-blown addiction, the latter of which is also characterized by tolerance and compulsive drug-seeking behavior.

Psychological dependence is a state that involves emotional–motivational withdrawal symptoms, e.g. anxiety and anhedonia, upon cessation of drug use or certain behaviours. It develops through frequent exposure to a psychoactive substance or behaviour, though behavioural dependence is less talked about.

Mental Dependence

Furthermore, this drug could also stop patients feeling pleasure in all other areas of their life which leads to non-compliance this reduces the effectiveness of the treatment. Using your knowledge of the learning theory explanation of gambling addiction to explain Alice’s addiction. SLT suggests that people begin to gamble due to learning from their social environment.

Addiction vs. Dependence: Differences In Drug Abuse Terms – Addiction Center

Addiction vs. Dependence: Differences In Drug Abuse Terms.

Posted: Wed, 17 Nov 2021 08:00:00 GMT [source]

These activities or events, that previously brought joy, are now looked sourly upon due to the substance not being available. Even less problematic discomforts, such as sweating and teary eyes, are both attributes of physical addictive dependence versus psychological addictive dependence. Addiction treatment is the best way to get help and overcome your dependency or addiction. If the substance use is hurting you, damaging your relationships, interfering with school or work, or causing legal problems, and you continue to seek the drug, that’s likely an addiction. In most cases, the presence of an addiction is determined by noticeable negative consequences to one’s life. It’s even possible to be dependent on a drug without being addicted to it. Certain drugs can lead to drowsiness and slow breathing, while others may cause insomnia, paranoia, or hallucinations.

Psychological Dependence Only

They bind to the same neurones receptors than the addictive drugs and produce similar effects. Aside from their utility as Drug rehabilitation analgesic drugs, opioid-like compounds are often found in cough suppressants, anti-nausea, and anti-diarrhea medications.

physiological and psychological dependence

When the addictive substance is not supplied, an individual who has already formed a psychological dependence will experience physical withdrawal symptoms. Likewise, physical dependence can develop without progressing to full-blown addiction.

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They found that the regular gamblers saw themselves as more skilful than non-gamblers- in fact there was no difference. They made more irrational statements such as statements suggesting that the machine had a personality or moods . They were also more likely to explain losses as near misses or even as near wins.

  • Visit theMouse Party websiteto see a visual example of how drugs alter the chemicals in the brain.
  • If restlessness or agitation is anything more than very mild, the rate of tapering should be slowed.
  • To understand what addiction is, you need to be aware of the difference between physical and psychological addiction as well as tolerance and dependence.
  • This part of the brain controls feelings of pleasure as well as gives you the desire to recreate these feelings—essentially leading to the formation of psychological addiction.

Substance use disorder is defined in DSM-5 as a compulsive pattern of drug use despite negative consequences. Both physical and psychological dependence are important parts of this disorder.


However, he does not have the perceived behavioral control (self-efficacy) as he does not believe that he can quit smoking. Penny found that smokers were less likely to believe they would quit smoking and therefore were less likely to try, the more times they have failed to quit previously.

physiological and psychological dependence

Reach out to us today to find out more about sober living in Delray Beach, Florida. Consuming more alcohol further suppresses brain chemicals and activity, resulting in temporary relief but, ultimately, causes more discomfort when the brain tries to return to a normal state. When the alcohol is fully eliminated from the system, those neurotransmitters become hyper-reactive, resulting in restlessness, anxiety, and nervousness. The alcohol absorbed by the brain suppresses neurotransmitters, which reduce inhibitions and cause a feeling of relaxation, as well as difficulties with speaking, walking, and memory.

Treatment Difference Between Physical And Psychological Dependence

Emotional dependence is just as severe as physical dependence, and addressing the mental aspects of dependence is part of an effective recovery program. Addiction—or compulsive drug use despite harmful consequences—is characterized by an inability to stop using a drug; failure to meet work, social, or family obligations; and, sometimes , tolerance and withdrawal. The latter reflect physical dependence in which the body adapts to the drug, requiring more of it to achieve a certain effect and eliciting drug-specific physical or mental symptoms if drug use is abruptly ceased . Physical dependence can happen with the chronic use of many drugs—including many prescription drugs, even if taken as instructed. Thus, physical dependence in and of itself does not constitute addiction, but it often accompanies addiction. In the current conceptualization of substance use disorders, there is no such thing as any form of addiction that is just a physical addiction or just a psychological addiction. The classification of an activity as being either entirely physical or purely mental-driven implies a misunderstanding of behavior and the brain and body connection.

physiological and psychological dependence

It is a socially sensitive explanation as it implies that people are nor responsible for their condition and the consequences e.g. stealing to buy the drugs …. Even worse, drug use actually interferes with the concept of memory and learning. It takes over these centers and focuses all memory and learning on drug use.

Psychological Addiction Explained

Away from the controlled environment where the associations between behavior/drug and unpleasant stimuli are formed, it is common for addictions to return. In the UK naltrexone is used only for the treatment of heroin addiction, however, in the USA it is becoming more widely used for other addictions. A significant issue with the use of naltrexone is that this drug can have serious side-effects such as anxiety, drowsiness, fatigue, panic attack and depression. They compared 30 addicted gamblers to 30 non-gamblers whilst each group played fruit machines. The gamblers were far more likely to have cognitive distortions and have a much greater sense of control. The results of these two studies support the cognitive explanation as it shows the presence of cognitive biases expected and the irrational beliefs e.g. attributing personality and moods to a fruit machine in the addicted gamblers.