Are “physiological” and “psychological” addiction really different? well, no! .. um, er, yes?

This is commonly called “craving.” Craving has been difficult to measure in human studies and often does not directly link with relapse. Dual-diagnosis treatment centers play a pivotal role in addressing psychological dependence by offering integrated care for co-occurring mental health disorders and substance abuse issues. These centers recognize that addiction often intertwines with mental health conditions, necessitating a holistic approach that treats both concurrently.

physiological and psychological dependence

Over time, the use of mindfulness can weaken the psychological ties to substance use, enabling you to respond to stress and triggers in healthier, more conscious ways. This approach not only empowers you in your immediate struggle with psychological dependence but also fosters a broader sense of mental clarity and resilience that can support long-term recovery. Psychological dependence on drugs is driven by the perceived need for the drug to manage stress, emotions, or daily activities. It forms a powerful barrier to recovery from drug abuse or alcohol addiction, but with a comprehensive approach that addresses underlying causes and triggers, you or your loved one can embark on a path to lasting sobriety.

Dependence treatment

Whether you struggle with physical or psychological addiction or both, we help you learn the tools you need to overcome at Gateway. When it comes to treating addiction, you need to find an addiction treatment program that addresses both the physical and psychological components of this disease. At Gateway, we offer evidence-based treatment that we tailor to your exact needs, depending on the severity of your addiction. It’s important to remember that you can recover from substance use disorder, whether you notice it during the dependency stage or when you’re already addicted.

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. Psychological dependence is a severe form of addiction that affects many people worldwide. Effective interventions are essential to helping individuals overcome psychological dependence. By understanding the symptoms and causes of psychological dependence, we can develop appropriate interventions that will ultimately lead to successful recovery.

Addictive Substances “Hijack” Brain Reward Systems

For some folks dealing with both a physical and psychological dependence, the psychological side of things sometimes resolves on its own once the physical dependence is treated. You can also experience both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. For example, you may develop a psychological dependence on alcohol abuse, associating its use with relief from stress or emotional discomfort. Cravings are a key factor in psychological addictions, so it’s important for you to understand what they are. A craving is an intense desire for something and is one of the hallmarks of psychological dependence. When you introduce drugs into your body, your system will compensate by creating its own chemical reactions to counter their effects.

Speak with your doctor if you have become physically dependent on a medication or other substance. Such confusion can also contribute to a reluctance among prescribers to treat pain conditions among individuals on opioid agonist treatment. Specific trauma, stressors, people, locations, and events can be triggers. However, you can still choose to not take the substance while dealing with these triggers — with addiction, it’s almost impossible to not take the substance when in these situations. Psychological dependence is when the use of substance ties to a feeling or event, called triggers. It’s not quite the same as physiological dependence, because it requires a trigger for you to crave that substance.


Technologies that can alter the activity of dysfunctional circuits are being explored as possible treatments. Not all people use substances, and even among those who use them, not all are equally likely to become addicted. Many factors influence physiological dependence on alcohol the development of substance use disorders, including developmental, environmental, social, and genetic factors, as well as co-occurring mental disorders. Other factors protect people from developing a substance use disorder or addiction.

  • The maintenance dose of the combination tablet can be up to 24 mg and used for every-other-day dosing.
  • Opioids are prescribed therapeutically to relieve pain, but when opioids activate these reward processes in the absence of significant pain, they can motivate repeated use of the drug simply for pleasure.
  • In order to give yourself the best chance at attaining and maintaining a healthy and positive lifestyle, professional treatment is the preferred option when you’re trying to quit drugs.
  • Individuals who are diagnosed with substance abuse disorders often exhibit both physical and psychological dependence.

Naltrexone and buprenorphine stimulate the cells in ways quite distinct from the addictive opioids. Each medication can play a role in comprehensive treatment for opioid addiction. In summary, the various biological models of drug addiction are complementary and broadly applicable to chemical addictions. Long-term pharmacotherapies for opioid dependence and addiction counteract or reverse the abnormalities underlying those conditions, thereby enhancing programs of psychological rehabilitation. From a clinical standpoint, opioid withdrawal is one of the most powerful factors driving opioid dependence and addictive behaviors.