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jan1064 (@jan1064)

Mental Illness medication and TBI

Depression & Anxiety | Last Active: Nov 7, 2019 | Replies (7)

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Is there a difference between addiction and dependency?

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Replies to "Is there a difference between addiction and dependency?"

Addiction vs. dependency is a loaded question, and I am not sure if I have a clear answer to it. I see addiction as more complicated than physical dependency, wherein the user has a seeking behavior toward misuse of a substance to further a psychological need to obtain its benefit despite negative consequences. For example, somebody who uses pain relievers such as opiods to receive a high and not simply relief. You can argue that some chemicals are more likely to produce such behavior than others, while some people do not slip into addiction at all. When it comes to withdrawing from a drug, the experience to the individual who is dependent vs. who is addicted may largely be the same. Benzos tend to be a high risk drug for those with propensity toward addictive behavior and do have consequences for their discontinuation of use and difficulty to cope with that.

@helenfrances yes there is a difference. A lot of times the words are used as the same, but the difference is definite. It was explained to me that addiction is the body phyisically becoming dependent on the substance, such that withdrawal can cause severe problems or even death. Dependence means you can have minor non-lifethreatening conditions, such as pysicologically dependent or aches or nausea or headaches. Withdrawal from caffeine may cause headaches, but it will not give any major problems. However, withdrawal from heroin may cause death or acute health problems.

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