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A 33-year-old member asked:

what is the difference between the psychology and physiology of addiction?

3 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Adam Front
Clinical Psychology 27 years experience
Addiction = disease: It looks and often feels like voluntary behavior, but addiction is a disease. See the video, "pleasure unwoven, "available from www.Instituteforaddictionstudy.Com or watch it in segments on youtube. Explains why addiction is a brain disease & not a choice. There are psychological features but they may be a result of addiction rather than a cause.
Dr. Robert Stewart
Clinical Psychology 44 years experience
Psychology & physiol: Interact. Each affects the other. We speak of body and mind as if they are separate things, but they are just two sides of the same coin. Calling addiction a disease can be misleading if it implies that physiology is more important that the psychological, social, & spiritual aspects. Drugs direct affect the physiology, but addiction recovery requires changes in thinking and behavior.
Dr. Adam Front
Dr. Adam Front commented
Clinical Psychology 27 years experience
Addiction comes largely from our physiology as it is a genetically inherited metabolic disorder. Those with addictions do not process mood altering substances the same way others do. However, since we cannot change that physiology, where the solution for managing addiction focuses is on the emotional, behavioral, social and spiritual aspects.
Sep 14, 2013
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
Need : A way of thinking about this is physical addiction is when the body thinks it needs a particular substance but it really doesn't. The psychological version of this is when the mind thinks it needs a particular substance but really doesn't. Physical addiction can exist without psychological addiction, and the reverse, likewise.

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Last updated Apr 17, 2016

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