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Doctor insights on: Understanding Addiction The Physical Dependence Model

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What is the difference between physical dependence vs addiction?

What is the difference between physical dependence vs addiction?

Very little: I believe we are splitting hairs. Same thing. If you are physically dependent, that describes the hallmark of addiction. Hope this helps. Whatever you wish to call it, get help yesterday. Talk with your doctor the day before. ...Read more

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Dr. Vasu Brown
612 doctors shared insights

Addiction (Definition)

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. A person affected by addiction will be unable to consistently Abstain from use, will have Impaired Behavioral control, will have Craving or increased "hunger" for drugs or rewarding experiences, will have a Dysfunctional Emotional response, and will show diminished recognition of significant problems with their own ...Read more


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What physically happens in the body with alcohol addiction and dependence?

What physically happens in the body with alcohol addiction and dependence?

A lot: Alcohol can adversely affect every organ in the body except the kidneys. The brain, the skin, the liver-all the organs. When dependency develops to alcohol, a person builds up a tolerance to the alcohol and the person then drinks more and more in order to obtain the desired effects. Drinking a pint of whiskey every day for at least one month, a person will have withdrawal symptoms when stopping. ...Read more

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Is physical dependence the same as drug addiction?

Is physical dependence the same as drug addiction?

No: People being treated by prescription can become dependent but not addicted. ...Read more

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What about the stories of addiction surrounding opiates? Is there a difference between physical dependence and addiction?

Yes: Physical dependence involves use to avoid withdrawal both physiologic and substance dependent without compulsive, lack of control behavior. You can have dependence without addiction. ...Read more

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What is the medical definition of addiction versus dependence?

Addiction/Dependence: Addiction is persistent engagement in rewarding behavior inspite of consequences. Dependence is continued use to avoid withdrawal. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a tolerance/dependence and an addiction?

What is the difference between a tolerance/dependence and an addiction?

Three things: You have mentioned three different things: tolerance - needing more of a drug to get the same effect. Very common in many drugs. Dependence - a physical/psychological need for a drug, often accompanied by specific symptoms if you stop taking it. Addiction - pattern of [harmful] behaviors involving a substance or behavior; typically involves dependence/tolerance related to the substance/behavior. ...Read more

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I can't stop eating fast foods. Could this behavior be indicative of a dependence, an addiction?

I can't stop eating fast foods. Could this behavior be indicative of a dependence, an addiction?

There are a lot: Of factors involved, too many for a clear answer. Time, stress management and others. If you could clear up some of these, it would help. Better yet, make an appointment with an addiction psychiatrist who can help you figure this out. ...Read more

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What's substance dependence vs addiction?

What's substance dependence vs addiction?

Addiction vs.: Dependence. Some drugs have effects on the body that the body becomes used to. This is dependence. If the drug is suddenly withdrawn, the patient will experience a withdrawal syndrome untill the body readjusts. Addiction is an uncontrollable, compulsive need for and use of a substance despite negative consequences (deteriorating health, memory, loss of relationships, legal problems, etc.). ...Read more

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What are the core symptoms of dependence v addiction?

Addiction dependence: Dependence is often used interchangably with addiction. However, addiction implies uncontrolled use of a substance along with the typical tolerance and withdrawal symptoms of dependence. ...Read more

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What does it mean when a woman has dependence and addiction?

Probably not good: Dependence, which is not necessarily pathological (diabetics are dependent upon insulin), is when your body has adapted to and become reliant on a certain drug such that discontinuation of that drug will result in physiological withdrawal symptoms (e..G seizures). Addiction is the repeated, pathological, compulsive abuse of a drug on which one is generally dependent despite harmful consequences. ...Read more

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