Identifying a substance abuse problem can be a complicated process. While some signs of addictive behaviors are obvious, others are more difficult to recognize. Many people who realize they have a problem will try to hide it from family and friends, making it harder to tell whether someone is struggling.
Recognizing & Understanding Addiction
The Difference Between
Addiction & Dependence
The terms “addiction” and “dependence” are often confused or used interchangeably. While there is some overlap, it’s important to understand the major differences between the two.
A dependence is present when someone develops a physical tolerance to a substance. They may experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using the drug altogether. Usually, a dependency is resolved by slowly tapering off the use of a particular substance.
On the other hand, an addiction occurs when extensive drug or alcohol use has caused a person’s brain chemistry to change. Addictions manifest themselves as uncontrollable cravings to use drugs, despite doing harm to oneself or others. The only way to overcome an addiction is through treatment.