what is physiological dependence

Addiction occurs when a person compulsively engages in using a substance even when they know doing so is dangerous. Dependence is different. What is physiological dependence, and why does it often get in the way of treatment for addiction? For those with it, residential addiction treatment and detox tend to be the most important first steps, both of which are available at United Recovery Project. Without this depth of care, a person with this condition may continue to use because they are simply unable to stop.

So, What Is Physiological Dependence?

Dependence comes in two forms: psychical and psychological. Both are essential to manage in order to break through addiction. It’s important to know that behavior can’t be easily divided into categories like this, either being purely physical or psychological. What we do know is that drugs interact with a person’s being in various ways.

Physiological or physical dependence occurs when the body relies on a substance to prevent the onset of withdrawal symptoms. This type of dependence is considered predictable and, in most cases, can be managed by medication. Other times, a tapering off of the drug may help with breaking dependence. This is often the type of approach taking in a detox program. Oftentimes, when people speak about dependence, it is this form they are talking about.

Signs of physiological dependence may include:

  • Intense muscle cramps and pain
  • Onset of headaches
  • Feelings of stomach pain and nausea 
  • Sweating profusely 
  • Experiencing tremors 

In comparison, psychological dependence is different. It’s focused on the cravings a person feels. These cravings occur, at least in part, because of the changes in the brain’s chemistry that occur when addiction forms. Symptoms of psychological dependence include:

  • Cravings
  • Depression onset because they cannot engage in addictive behavior
  • Mood swings 
  • Anxiety about stopping use
  • Increasing sleep problems or disturbances 

Breaking Drug Dependence

In either situation, it is critical for doctors and therapists to work together to create a treatment plan. As noted, this often occurs in a detox program where medications can be administered to help reduce the withdrawal symptoms. Some medications do reduce anxiety and cravings associated with the process as well. 

Yet, it is important to go through the detox process to break dependence, and that takes time. The brain’s chemistry needs to improve. That means there is likely to be some instances of discomfort during the process. Most often, this slows down and becomes less intense over a few days to weeks. Yet, during that time, it is nearly always important to be in a drug addiction rehab where symptoms can be controlled. 

Treatment for Dependence Occurs in Our Drug Rehab in South Florida

Dependence is one of the most complex aspects of addiction. Yet, even as difficult as it may be, there are treatment options available that can ease you through the process. Your therapists will work with you to better understand what’s occurring and why. Then, treatment, which may include medications along with psychotherapy, is designed to fit your needs. Long-term goals are established, and after detox occurs, many benefit from residential treatment to continue the healing. 

We can help you here at United Recovery Project with treatment such as:

  • Drug and alcohol detox
  • Residential treatment program
  • Partial hospitalization program
  • Extended residential program
  • Intensive outpatient program 

Get Help for What You’re Experiencing by Calling United Recovery Project

Do you think you have physiological dependence? Even if you’re not sure, help is available to you at United Recovery Project. You can stop using drugs or alcohol for good and feel good about the process. For many people, this takes being surrounded by supportive people and having access to treatment tailored to what you’re experiencing. Our team can help you with that. Call us now at 888-960-5121 or connect online to get started.