Did you know that even though there are distinctions between psychological and physiological dependence, there are also some commonalities? Experiencing one without the other is possible, too. That said, it’s far more typical for both conditions to be present. How do you deal with these types of dependency?
What is Physiological Dependence?
Addiction specialists understand physiological dependence to be your body’s need for a drug or alcohol. It behaves as though it can’t live without the chemicals. Getting to this state is not something that happens overnight. Before dealing with physiological dependence, you’ve most likely passed a point of tolerance.
After using a drug for a while, your body develops a tolerance. The artificial influx of specific chemicals is now the new normal. As a result, you no longer feel the effects of the drugs as much. The majority of people increase the dose at this stage.
Doing so has a dual effect. For starters, you create an even more dramatic influx of chemicals that now overwhelm your nervous system. Secondly, you create a noticeable absence of chemicals when you’re late taking the drug. Now, you deal with withdrawal symptoms when you don’t introduce the chemicals into your system.
When Psychological and Physiological Dependence Overlap
The cravings you develop for the substance are intense. The brain no longer releases certain neurotransmitters without the chemicals that the drugs provide. The absence of dopamine may push you into a deep depression, which causes you to continue using. The lack of other drugs may cause a sudden re-emergence of the nervous system’s activities.
The resulting sensation is one of pain, and you feel acute anxiety. Going back to using ensures that you don’t feel these sensations. Your mind now reinforces the need for the drug. Doing so highlights the depth of psychological dependence.
Overcoming Both Dependencies
It’s interesting to note that breaking the bonds of the physiological dependence is relatively easy. You undergo detoxification at a facility that provides medical monitoring and pharmacological assistance. It’s the shortest part of recovery. Typically, it only takes about seven to ten days to break a physical addiction.
However, there’s more to do. After detox, relapse rates are extremely high. The reason being is the psychological addiction. Overcoming it is possible with rehab.
There, therapists work with you on the customization of a program. Typical addiction treatments include:
- Partial hospitalization program that factors in the severity of your cravings and addiction
- Extended care addiction treatment, which gives you extra time to recover and undergo therapy
- Individual therapy that incorporates various disciplines to pinpoint your reasons for using
- Individual therapy and group therapy session, which help you to find ways of quitting dysfunctional behaviors and thoughts
- Dual diagnosis treatment and assessment for a way to incorporate care involving co-occurring mental health conditions
As you can see, breaking the psychological part of the addiction is more time-consuming. However, it’s a necessity. During this time, you also learn relapse prevention strategies that help you deal with trigger situations. Once you transition back home, it’s vital that you have alternative means of handling stress, disappointment, and intense emotions.
Getting Help Now is Possible
Drug addiction isn’t something that only happens to other people. It’s not a sign of moral weakness or failure. Instead, it’s a chronic disease that doesn’t have a cure but responds well to treatment. You can quit using today and end the vicious cycle of drug abuse.
Caring therapists will help you every step of the way. At Crestview Recovery, these addiction specialists routinely work with people just like you. Call 866.262.0531 today.