Psychological Addiction: Meaning, Symptoms, Treatment

This tends to result in withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the substance. The psychological side of addiction represents the compulsion of the mind to drink or use based on a perceived need the substance fills. This facet of addiction can occur even if the person doesn’t display physical dependency symptoms. Some drugs, like anticonvulsants and antidepressants, physiological dependence on alcohol describe the drug category and not the mechanism. Anticonvulsants as a group however are known to cause tolerance to the anti-seizure effect. SSRI drugs, which have an important use as antidepressants, engender a discontinuation syndrome that manifests with physical side effects; e.g., there have been case reports of a discontinuation syndrome with venlafaxine .

When you’re physically addicted, it can manifest as both physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms occur due to changes in the brain and central nervous system, which are a result of chronic substance abuse. There is a fine line between a physical dependence and a psychological dependence. But, a physical dependence can be thought of as the signs and symptoms a person displays that are tangible. Someone with a physical dependence on drugs and alcohol might show symptoms that others can notice. Symptoms of psychological dependence are viewed as more variable because people are all different, and brain chemistry can vary. Intensity levels are also different and may be influenced by lifestyle and environmental variables.

Psychological and physical addiction: What’s the difference?

Physiological dependence can happen with the chronic use of most drugs—including many types of prescription drugs, even when they are taken as instructed by a physician. Thus, physical dependence does not necessarily constitute addiction. This distinction can be difficult to discern, especially regarding prescribed pain medications, for which needing increasing dosages can represent tolerance. The study found that nearly 1 in 3 adults is an excessive drinker, and most of them binge drink, usually on multiple occasions.

physiological dependence on alcohol

However, the difference is an emphasis on validation and accepting that these thoughts and feelings happen. CBT seeks to stop these destructive thoughts before they happen. It allows patients to acknowledge that they exist, why they happen and actively try to change them. A therapist who specializes in CBT may ask a recovering addict to track the thoughts that happen when they want to use drugs and alcohol. They can use these patterns to help them move forward in the process of recovery. It’s so much more than overcoming the physical sensation of withdrawal.

Alcohol Dependence, Withdrawal, and Relapse

Before physical dependence forms, the afflicted individual begins building a tolerance on their substance of choice. Tolerance refers to the phenomenon that occurs when people abuse mood or mind-altering substances so often that their body adjusts to having the substance in the body. As a result, someone who used to get high off taking one pill will need to take increasing amounts of the drug to achieve the desired effects. Tolerance works the same way with alcohol – someone who used to get drunk off of three beers may now need to drink hard liquor in larger amounts in order to get drunk.

  • If you’re psychologically addicted, you have an emotional or mental attachment to a substance.
  • There are a lot of terms involved that, while related, mean different things.
  • For some people, loss of control over alcohol consumption can lead to alcohol dependence, rendering them more susceptible to relapse as well as more vulnerable to engaging in drinking behavior that often spirals out of control.
  • For example, opioid addiction treatment programs may include medication-assisted treatment .

For example, if you are addicted to gambling, you’ll solely suffer from an intense psychological urge to gamble. If, on the other hand, you’re addicted to a substance like a specific drug or type of spirit, you’ll usually first develop a psychological addiction and then a physical one. Before splitting addiction out into physical and psychological addiction, it is helpful to understand what addiction is as an umbrella term. When people talk about addiction, it means the continued use of a substance that alters a person’s mood in spite of negative consequences/behaviors. A patient’s appearance can indicate this; they might look disheveled and smell.

Physical vs. Psychological Addiction

The CRF1 receptor antagonist antalarmin attenuates yohimbine-induced increases in operant alcohol self-administration and reinstatement of alcohol seeking in rats. Funk D, Harding S, Juzytsch W, Le AD. Effects of unconditioned and conditioned social defeat on alcohol self-administration and reinstatement of alcohol seeking in rats. Chaudhri N, Sahuque LL, Janak PH. Context-induced relapse of conditioned behavioral responding to ethanol cues in rats. 6A third FDA-approved medication to treat alcohol dependence (disulfiram; Antabuse®) targets alcohol metabolism. Veatch LM, Becker HC. Electrographic and behavioral indices of ethanol withdrawal sensitization. Veatch LM. Disruptions in sleep time and sleep architecture in a mouse model of repeated ethanol withdrawal.

Determinants of Treatment Outcome, Follow-Up, and Abstinence Rates Among Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder: A Prospective Study – Cureus

Determinants of Treatment Outcome, Follow-Up, and Abstinence Rates Among Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder: A Prospective Study.

Posted: Fri, 11 Nov 2022 09:51:42 GMT [source]

It may be worth cutting it out to prevent progression of a problem and perhaps improve your relationships. Discover commonly misused drugs, symptoms of misuse, where to seek help, and more. In most cases, though, working with a therapist is the best course for addressing psychological dependence, whether it occurs on its own or alongside physical dependence. Some estimates suggest approximately 90 percent of people recovering from opioid addiction and 75 percent of people recovering from alcohol addiction or other substance addictions will have symptoms of PAWS. You’re probably dealing with both a physical and psychological dependence in this case.

Programs With a Focus On Physical Dependence

Physical dependence can develop from low-dose therapeutic use of certain medications such as benzodiazepines, opioids, antiepileptics and antidepressants, as well as the recreational misuse of drugs such as alcohol, opioids and benzodiazepines. The higher the dose used, the greater the duration of use, and the earlier age use began are predictive of worsened physical dependence and thus more severe withdrawal syndromes. Protracted withdrawal syndrome can last for months, years, or depending on individual factors, indefinitely. Protracted withdrawal syndrome is noted to be most often caused by benzodiazepines. To dispel the popular misassociation with addiction, physical dependence to medications is sometimes compared to dependence on insulin by persons with diabetes. Significant advancements have been made in understanding the neurobiological underpinnings and environmental factors that influence motivation to drink as well as the consequences of excessive alcohol use. The term psychological dependence is typically used to describe the emotional and mental processes that are related to the development of a substance use disorder or process addiction.

What is a physiological dependence quizlet?

Physiological Dependence. The user/abuser develops a dependence on the drug and must maintain intake in order to prevent physical side effects, such as withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment for physical dependence depends upon the drug being withdrawn and often includes administration of another drug, especially for substances that can be dangerous when abruptly discontinued or when previous attempts have failed. Physical dependence is usually managed by a slow dose reduction over a period of weeks, months or sometimes longer depending on the drug, dose and the individual. A physical dependence on alcohol is often managed with a cross tolerant drug, such as long acting benzodiazepines to manage the alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It has been postulated that naltrexone may blunt the rewarding effects of alcohol, whereas acamprosate may attenuate adaptive changes during abstinence that favor relapse (Heilig and Egli 2006; Litten et al. 2005). Substance abuse is a very serious problem that should never be ignored.

Social Symptoms

Rimondini R, Sommer WH, Dall’Olio R, Heilig M. Long-lasting tolerance to alcohol following a history of dependence. Overstreet DH, Knapp DJ, Breese GR. Accentuated decrease in social interaction in rats subjected to repeated ethanol withdrawals. Lopez MF, Anderson RI, Becker HC. Repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure increase both self-administration and the reinforcing value of ethanol in C57BL/6J mice. Brown G, Jackson A, Stephens DN. Effects of repeated withdrawal from chronic ethanol on oral self-administration of ethanol on a progressive ratio schedule. Becker HC, Veatch LM. Effects of lorazepam treatment for multiple ethanol withdrawals in mice.

What does it mean to be psychologically dependent on alcohol?

Examples of being psychologically dependent on alcohol

Alcohol is your normal way of coping with a difficult time. You find it hard to socialise or enjoy yourself without alcohol. You use alcohol to avoid being upset by negative feelings. You use alcohol to cope with depression, anxiety or other mental health problems.

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