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Drug Dependence vs Addiction: What Are the Differences

Drug addiction is an epidemic in the United States. Far too many Americans are negatively impacted by their reliance on drugs.

In fact, experts estimate that drug abuse and addiction cost the United States $740 billion per year. Drug users are more likely to commit crimes, require health care services, and underperform at their place of work.

In a single year, roughly 20 million Americans are battling a substance use disorder. Nearly 40% of this group is using illicit drugs.

Many people do not understand the difference between drug dependence and addiction. Read on for a comprehensive guide to drug dependence vs addiction.

What Is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is the term that most Americans loosely mention. This drug addiction guide intends to clearly define the term to avoid confusion.

Those with an addiction experience strong cravings for their drug of choice. Their brain sends signals that they need to use again.

Hence, drug addiction is best categorized as a mental health condition.

These cravings ultimately lead to poor decisions. Naturally, drugs are expensive, and the addiction inflicts a financial toll.

As a result, many drug users turn to crime to pay for their cravings. Some borrow or steal money from loved ones, which leads to strained or broken relationships. Depression and thoughts of suicide are also common mental health outcomes related to drug addiction.

What Is Drug Dependence?

It was clearly established that drug addiction is rooted in mental health. Our drug dependence guide seeks to prove the opposite. Drug dependence is physical in nature and deals with the impact on the human body.

When a person frequently uses drugs, their body adapts to the way it feels during a high. Without the drug and its effects, withdrawal symptoms kick in.

There are many different withdrawal symptoms, and they vary based on the user. Many drug users get physically ill, including muscle aches and fatigue. They end up vomiting or having diarrhea without drug use.

Others have anxiety attacks during withdrawal. They start to sweat profusely and shake. Feelings of restlessness are common as well.

What Is the Solution?

Drug treatment centers are the best option for users. Here, medical professionals address both addiction and dependency.

They are able to prescribe medication that addresses unbearable withdrawal symptoms. There are also therapists on staff to work on the root causes behind mental health issues.

Each drug treatment center offers a different array of services. For example, addiction treatment for Native Americans includes an outpatient clinic. The program lasts up to six months, depending on a doctor’s evaluation of the patient.

Drug Dependence vs Addiction: What Is the Difference?

You now have a firm understanding of the difference between drug addiction and dependency. The former is rooted in mental health, while the latter deals with the physical impact on the body.

Some patients suffer from both dependence and addiction at the same time. Others may only experience addiction and not yet see any signs of dependency.

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