Resources & Education

June 22nd, 2017

Psychological vs. Physical Addiction

The disease of addiction has had an impact on a large percentage of our population. In today’s society addiction is a hot topic as we find ourselves battling the opiate epidemic. But what does addiction or dependence to a substance really mean? Research tells us that there are actually different kinds of addiction/dependence, such as psychological dependence and physical dependence. Understanding these two types of addiction may allow us to spot someone who is secretly struggling.

To start, the word ‘addiction’ can be defined as the continued use of a mood altering substance or behaviors despite adverse consequences. The word ‘psychological’ is defined as arising from the mind or emotions. Therefore psychological dependence is the impact that substances have on the brain or the psyche. But, just because this type of addiction doesn’t’ present on the body like a wound would, that doesn’t mean there aren’t signs to look out for.

Some of the potential side effects of psychological dependence:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Cravings to use substances

With physical addiction, there is a prioritizing of substances over fulfilling your personal, professional, social, or economic obligations and jeopardizing your health and safety. The symptoms of physical addiction are easier to see, as they outwardly affect the body.

Some of the potential side effects of physical dependence:

  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Body aches
  • Shaking and body tremors
  • Headaches
  • High body temps/sweating

With so many people struggling with addiction of both kinds, it is important to know the warning signs. Understanding what dependence is and how it presents itself might allow us all to help those who cannot help themselves.

If you are dealing with the symptoms of both psychological and physical addiction, medically supervised detox facilities can help. Horizon Village Terrace House program offers medically supervised withdrawal protocols, screening for substance use disorders, and discharge planning to help stay the course and prevent relapse.

Substance Use Disorder Help in WNY

Horizon Health Services offers help for individuals and families dealing with the impact of addiction. If you or someone you love is experiencing any symptoms of addiction and live in the Western New York area, please contact us. We can help. Call us today at (716) 831-1800.

Sources used to write this article:

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