Even after your time with us is over, our alumni services ensure you stay on the road to recovery. However, there are distinct differences between physical and psychological addiction. As one can assume, psychological addiction is much more difficult to treat than physical addiction.

1In operant procedures, animals must first perform a certain response (e.g., press a lever) before they receive a stimulus (e.g., a small amount of alcohol). Whether you struggle with physical or psychological addiction or both, we help you learn the tools you need to psychological dependence on alcohol overcome at Gateway. Once you are free from the physical component of this disease, we target the physicological side effects of addiction. During your personalized therapy sessions, we help you develop coping techniques, so you are empowered to live a sober life.

Substance Abuse

Incarceration and legal issues are signs of the social effect of an addict. When analyzing whether or not legal issues caused by substance abuse is a psychological dependency versus a physical dependency, evidence suggests it is a symptom of psychological dependency. They need to do something illegal to get the substance of choice is a psychological dependence of that substance. However, most addictions have far more reaching consequences, affecting individuals on both a mental and physical level. Identifying whether you have a physical or psychological dependence on drugs and alcohol can help you find the best course of treatment. When dependence turns into addiction it’s a condition that must be monitored for life.

Alcohol dependence is characterized by fundamental changes in the brain’s reward and stress systems that manifest as withdrawal symptoms when alcohol consumption is stopped or substantially reduced. These changes also are purported to fuel motivation to reengage in excessive drinking behavior. Repeated bouts of heavy drinking interspersed with attempts at abstinence (i.e., withdrawal) may result in sensitization of withdrawal symptoms, especially symptoms that contribute to a negative emotional state. This, in turn, can lead to enhanced vulnerability to relapse as well as favor perpetuation of excessive drinking.

What is a Physical Addiction?

In fact, both physical and psychological addiction activate similar regions of the brain. Duffy’s Napa Valley Rehab is the top choice for drug addiction treatment in the Bay area, offering the best substance abuse detox and residential drug & alcohol rehab for men & women near Sacramento & Napa, California. In reality, it’s psychological addiction and not physical addiction that is at the root of almost all cases of substance abuse.

People who suffer from addiction will typically experience both physical and psychological dependence. However, it is possible to become physically dependent on a substance without becoming psychologically addicted. Since addiction is such a complex disease, many people get confused about the difference between physical and psychological dependence.

Programs With a Focus on Psychological Dependence

The longer a person regularly uses a substance, the more likely they will build up a tolerance to it. Once this happens, they will need more of it to feel like how they did when they first started using it. This makes physical symptoms worse when they try to stop using it. Consuming the drug or alcohol at an excessive level is a social symptom of an addict.

  • Believing the person can relinquish the substance at any time is another social symptom of an addict.
  • In fact, both physical and psychological addiction activate similar regions of the brain.
  • Whether you are facing a physical dependence or psychological dependence, self-soothing is a great way to help combat withdrawals.

Sure, it is true that ecstasy has a lower potential to cause physical dependency than some other drugs, but the article fails to mention the high psychological addiction of ecstasy. At Promises Behavioral Health, you’ll receive physical and psychological care in an environment of compassion and empathy. Plus, our treatment programs include evidence-based therapies that are designed to promote physical and psychological healing. If you or someone you love is struggling with physical or psychological dependence, don’t wait to get help.