Substance use is not always an indication of addiction, although drug use carries numerous health and social risks in addition to the risk of addiction. There is still much debate about whether many behavioral addictions are “true” addictions. While shopping addiction, sex addiction, and exercise addiction are often noted as behavioral addictions, the DSM-5 does not officially recognize these as distinct disorders.

Get Professional Help

BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor. For example, we have long been told that people need to hit “rock bottom” before they’ll get help, but this isn’t true. Anyone with an addiction can get help at any point if they feel it’s the right time.

What causes nicotine dependence, and how does it affect me?

Nicotine changes how the brain works, making it one of the most addictive substances in the world. Nicotine affects people of all ages but is most dangerous among teens. The brain is still developing during the teenage years, making it easier to become addicted to nicotine.

addiction vs dependence

Relationship Between Addiction and Dependence

  • The approach that will be best for you depends on many factors and is best decided in collaboration with your doctor or therapist.
  • Many people who use the term “dependence” are referring to physical dependence.

Addiction is a psychological response caused by the use of alcohol and certain other drugs over time. As a psychological response, addictions impact your thoughts and behaviors. Distinguishing between these concepts is essential in recommending the right addiction vs dependence treatments. Addiction recovery can involve addressing both physical and psychological health. Doctors may also prescribe certain medications to manage dependence and addiction. Tolerance is when the body’s response to a substance diminishes over time.

addiction vs dependence

There are cessation treatments that effectively cure nicotine dependence and help reduce withdrawal symptoms. Repeated use of these substances may result in changes in how the brain functions. Additionally, people may build up a tolerance to the substance, meaning that they require more of the drug to feel its effects. They can diagnose your condition or refer you to a healthcare provider who can. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and effects of addiction helps to dispel misconceptions and promote empathy and support for those struggling with this complex condition. Seeking professional help and exploring addiction treatment options is crucial for individuals looking to overcome addiction and regain control of their lives.

According to a 2021 research article, healthcare professionals often misunderstand them, which can lead to misdiagnosis. Although they may seem similar, addiction and dependence are distinct concepts. A person with an addiction has difficulty not using substances or doing rewarding activities, even if it is harming them.

addiction vs dependence