What's the Difference Between Addiction and Dependence?
Addiction: Addiction happens when a person can’t stop using a substance even though they suffer negative consequences because of their substance abuse. Addiction affects the mind and body, causing a cycle of craving, drug abuse, and withdrawal symptoms. The more a substance is used, the more a person’s body adapts to it, leading to tolerance. In drug tolerance, a person must use more and more of the substance to achieve the desired effect. Tolerance is often a step toward addiction.
Dependence: Dependence is a state where the body has adapted to the presence of a drug. If the drug is suddenly stopped, withdrawal symptoms will occur, indicating the body’s reliance on it. Dependence can happen with or without addiction, and it’s possible to be dependent on a medication without abusing it or experiencing harmful consequences.
How Does Someone Become Addicted to Prescription Drugs?
Can't My Doctor Just Adjust My Prescription?
If your medication isn’t as effective as it used to be, you might think the solution is for your doctor to adjust your prescription. Developing a tolerance to a medication is a complex issue that can lead to an increased risk of dependency and other health problems.
Higher doses can make you more vulnerable to both physical and psychological addiction. Elevated doses can also lead to other health issues like liver or kidney problems. Instead of just upping the dosage, consult your healthcare provider for a comprehensive review and explore alternative treatments.