7 doctors weighed in:

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

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Leonard Spishakoff
Addiction Medicine
4 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Leonard Spishakoff
Dr. Leonard Spishakoff
Thank
Dr. Visalakshi Vallury
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Physical dependance is a gradual change in your body adapting to the medication and may require higher doses of medication.
Addiction is likely 1) if taking the medication produces problems at home, work or social functioning 2) if medication is taken despite bad effects 3) frequent requests for refills 4) withdrawal symptoms occur after doses are missed 4) there is social withdrawal.

In brief: Yes

Physical dependance is a gradual change in your body adapting to the medication and may require higher doses of medication.
Addiction is likely 1) if taking the medication produces problems at home, work or social functioning 2) if medication is taken despite bad effects 3) frequent requests for refills 4) withdrawal symptoms occur after doses are missed 4) there is social withdrawal.
Dr. Visalakshi Vallury
Dr. Visalakshi Vallury
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Brian Nichol
Thank you for the question and Dr. Vallury's excellent answer. There is too often confusion between the two in the lay and professional communities.
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