Physical dependence is a health condition that results when you chronically use a certain drug. People who are dependent on a drug will develop a tolerance to it. This means that they gradually need more of the drug to get the same effect. They will also experience unpleasant symptoms when they stop using the drug. There are all sorts of drugs that can cause dependence, ranging from medications like SSRIs to alcohol and illegal drugs like heroin. At Liberty Bay Recovery Center, we want to help you achieve recovery by helping you understand your physical dependence on drugs and alcohol. By doing so, you can understand the reason behind your physical dependence which can aid you in your recovery at a holistic addiction treatment center.
Addiction & Physical Dependency
People often confuse being physically dependent on something with having an addiction to it. The link between these two is strong, but they are technically separate. The main difference between these two issues is that addiction refers to a broad set of behaviors. On the other hand, physical dependency is strictly physical.
A person with an addiction is someone who compulsively uses a substance despite negative effects. Meanwhile, a person with a physical dependence is simply someone who experiences certain symptoms when he/she stops using a drug. People with an addiction will always have a dependence, but some people with a physical dependency on drugs do not have an addiction.
The Cause of a Dependence
A dependency happens because of the complex way your brain interacts with drugs. The body relies on a balanced blend of dopamine, cortisol, and other neurotransmitters to keep you functioning properly. When you take a drug, it creates mental effects by altering the levels of chemicals that your brain produces. Over time, your brain will automatically adjust the levels of chemicals it produces to try to achieve a more stable balance. This means you need more of the drug to overcome your brain’s adapted neurotransmitter levels. When you quit taking the drug, you then end up with abnormally high or low levels of certain transmitters, making you feel sick.
Signs You Have a Dependence
The exact symptoms you experience may depend on what substances you are taking. Some drugs may just cause mild withdrawal symptoms, like fatigue, insomnia, or nausea when you quit taking them. However, a dependency on other types of drugs can cause more intense issues like seizures, hallucinations, soaring heart rates, vomiting, and diarrhea. In cases of a dependency on alcohol, benzodiazepines, or barbiturates, withdrawal can even be life-threatening. Therefore, it is important to seek a medication-assisted detox program in Maine to help you when you are going through detox.
In addition to withdrawal symptoms, when you quit using a drug for more than two or three days, dependency also causes an increased tolerance. This means you may need to take higher and higher dosages of a substance to get the same effect. You may also quit noticing certain side effects after repeated use. Certain types of dependency can also give you behavioral tolerance, which means you may be better able to move, speak, or do other activities while high after you chronically abuse a drug. Seek help from an inpatient drug detox center in Portland Maine so you can achieve a safe and healthy detox.
Addressing Physical Dependence
Being dependent on a drug can make it harder to quit using the drug, but getting sober is always possible. Treating a dependency starts by no longer using the drug that is the reason for your dependency. Then you may need treatment to help with the unpleasant physical withdrawal effects. These medical detox treatments will depend on your symptoms. Some people may need IVs to counteract dehydration while others may need drugs to address nausea or monitoring for medical conditions like seizures.
The right help can address your dependence while also helping you deal with the mental effects of addiction. At Liberty Bay Recovery, we provide a wide range of treatments, including detox programs, a residential addiction treatment center, and intensive outpatient programs (IOP). Start on your path to recovery by calling 855.607.8758.