Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Difference You Need to Know Between Addiction & Dependence

Addiction Quote Dependence

Physical dependence and addiction aren't the same.

Addiction can occur without physical dependence. For example, cocaine or methamphetamine both have little outwardly apparent withdrawal syndrome but addiction to either can devastate lives. Addictions to gambling, sex or the internet also have no physical dependence.

Physical dependence can also occur without addiction. It's common for most chronic pain patients who are able to take their opioid medication as prescribed for pain but don't develop the uncontrollable compulsion and loss of control. A desire to avoid withdrawal is not addiction.

Addiction Quote Physical Dependence
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse physical dependence in and of itself does not constitute as addiction. This is particularly important when talking about methadone because too many people believe that if you're on methadone you're still an addict. Yes, some methadone patients are still addicted, however not all of us are. Most of us just have a physical dependence to opiates and want to avoid severe withdrawal. 

Physical dependence to opioids means that the body relies on an external source of opioids to prevent withdrawal. Physical dependence is predictable, easily managed with medication, and is ultimately resolved with a slow taper off of the opioid. 

Addiction is considered a disease which manifests as uncontrollable cravings, inability to control drug use and compulsive drug use. Uncontrollable cravings prompt the destructive behaviors of addiction despite the negative consequences it has in all areas of one's life. It diminishes recognition of significant problems with one’s behavior, emotional responses and relationships.

Methadone Quote Addiction

Most people on methadone don't use compulsively to the detriment of their health, relationships. and overall lives. They take the medication as prescribe simply to keep the withdrawals at bay due to their physical dependence to opioids. Being on the methadone maintenance program usually improves their lives, unlike addiction.

Normally, the body is able to produce enough endogenous opioids to prevent withdrawal but when someone takes large amounts of opiates the excess causes their body to stop producing it in an effort to keep balance. Over time the body becomes accustomed to not producing opioids which causes the body to go into withdrawal without an external source of opioids. 

Methadone Quote Addicion
That's why taking methadone enables people who were taking large amounts of opioids to function normally and have productive lives. It has a large success rate for improving patients lives and the people around them. It gives opiate addicts the chance to deal with the physical dependence and addiction separately and I believe that's why it has one of the highest success rate in addiction treatment. Dealing with both the physical dependence and the addiction at the same time never worked for me.

When I got on methadone I was finally able to deal with my addiction because my mind was clear without the pain of severe withdrawals. Once the physical dependence was put on hold I was able to deal with the mental side of things like my addiction and the reason I started using. After I did that I was able to start going down on my methadone and deal with the physical dependence without the fear of abusing drugs again.