It’s easy to assume everyone is using drugs recreationally or more severely. However, there is a marked difference between dependency and addiction. Dependency diseases can be treated and managed like any other chronic illness.
On the other hand, drug addictions are ongoing problems that require ongoing treatment and willpower. Every year, millions of people continue to suffer from the disease. It takes the intervention of a loved one to get people off drugs.
What is dependency vs addiction? Let’s take a closer look!
Defining Dependency and Addiction
There are a lot of similarities between addiction and dependence. But there is a big difference between those words.
Addiction is a disease that changes the brain. It also creates an uncontrollable craving for a particular substance or behavior. People who become addicted can’t stop using even when it’s causing problems in their lives.
Dependence is when the body becomes used to a substance and requires it to function. For example, someone who takes insulin for diabetes is dependent on it but not addicted to it.
The Causes of Dependency and Addiction
There are a lot of different causes of dependency and addiction, but the most common cause is genetic. Family history is the most predictor of addiction. Other causes of addiction include trauma, anxiety, and depression.
Addiction is a complex disease that affects people of all ages and walks of life. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there’s help available.
The Symptoms of Dependency and Addiction
Both dependency and addiction can lead to tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms are the main indicators of dependency. They occur when a person tries to stop using the substance they are dependent on.
These symptoms can include anxiety, irritability, tremors, sweats, nausea, and vomiting. They can be physical and/or mental, and they can vary in intensity.
Tolerance occurs when a person needs to use more and more of a substance to achieve the desired effect. For example, a person who is dependent on heroin may need to use increasing amounts of the drug to get the same “high.”
A person might start using substances to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Tolerance can lead to addiction.
The Dangers of Addiction and Dependency
Most dependencies start out as psychological dependencies. For example, a person may start gambling because it’s exciting and they enjoy the feeling of winning.
But, over time, the need to gamble becomes stronger and stronger, to the point where it starts to take over their life. At this stage, it’s considered an addiction.
Addictions and dependencies can be very harmful. They can lead to physical and psychological problems. They can also lead to social and financial problems.
The Stigma of Addiction
There is a lot of stigma surrounding addiction, which makes it hard for people to get the help they need.
The stigma can make it difficult for people to seek help. They may feel ashamed or embarrassed because people see addiction as a personal failing when in reality it is a disease.
The Treatment of Dependency and Addiction
Therapy and medication and lifestyle changes can treat both dependency and addiction. But it depends on the severity of the case. In some cases, outpatient treatment may be enough. But, more severe cases may need inpatient treatment.
Addiction treatment includes detoxification, behavioral therapies, and 12-step programs. And treating dependency may need tapering off the substance, along with counseling and support.
The most important thing to remember is that dependency and addiction are treatable. If you or someone you love is struggling, there is help available.
The Prevention of Addiction and Dependency
The prevention of dependency and addiction starts with education. It is important to understand the difference between the two and the risks involved.
Early intervention is key. If someone is showing signs of dependency or addiction, it is important to get them help as soon as possible. Addiction is a serious condition that can be difficult to overcome without treatment.
If you are dependent on a substance, you may be able to reduce your use or stop using altogether with the help of a professional.
Tips for Overcoming Addiction
Overcoming addiction can be very challenging. Here are tips to make this possible:
Seek Professional Help
A therapist and counselor help you to understand your addiction and provide the tools necessary for a successful recovery and how to overcome it. The role of addiction counselors plays a big part in an individual’s recovery.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, it’s almost necessary to seek professional help.
Join a Support Group
These groups provide a safe and supportive space for people to share their experiences and learn from one another. Joining these groups can provide help for both addiction and dependency.
Being around others through the same thing can be helpful as you can offer and receive support.
Change Your Environment
The best way to overcome any addiction is to change your environment.
If you’re addicted to drugs, you need to get away from the people and places that remind you of your addiction. This could mean moving to a new city or even just changing your daily routine.
It’s important to have a support system in place to help you through tough times. If you are constantly around people and places that remind you of your addiction, it will be more difficult to overcome it. Try to distance yourself from these triggers.
Be patient with yourself if you are going through either of these things. Recognize that it takes time to heal and that you are not alone. There are people who care about you and want to help you get through this.
Overcoming addiction can take time and relapses may happen. Be gentle with yourself and keep trying.
Dealing With Dependency vs Addiction
There are many similarities between dependency vs addiction, but there are also important differences.
One key difference is that addiction is a choice, while dependency is not. Addiction is also characterized by unsuccessful attempts to quit, while dependency does not typically involve such attempts.
It’s important to be aware of the differences between the two so that you can better understand your relationship to substances and get the help you need, if necessary. If you think you might be addicted to a substance, reach out to a professional for help.
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