Addiction is complex and affects many areas of one’s life. So you may be wondering, “What is physical dependence?” A key part of the addiction to a drug is physical dependence. It is separate from psychological drug dependency, however, both factors work together. The two kinds of dependency form a nearly unbreakable bond between you and the drug. However, holistic addiction treatment at a drug addiction treatment center in Kansas provides the tools to breakthrough.
What Is Physical Dependence?
Physical dependence means that when you use a drug, your body will demand that you continue to use it. Otherwise, you will end up experiencing severe physical symptoms of withdrawal. In the case of opioids, medication is available to help alleviate these symptoms.
Drug dependence can grow as your body becomes increasingly tolerant of the drug. You have to increase the amount or frequency of doses to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Drugs that form physical dependencies include:
- Opioids, such as morphine, heroin, and fentanyl
- Barbiturates, like phenobarbital
- Benzodiazepines, like Valium
- Methaqualones, like Quaaludes
- SSRI and SSRI antidepressants
- Blood pressure medications, such as beta-blockers
In contrast, psychological dependence on a drug is an uncontrollable craving. You are mentally hooked. Often, particular triggers or environments will spark an intense desire for the drug. For example, a cigarette smoker craving nicotine after a meal. Similarly, marijuana is addictive, and while you do not go into withdrawal when you stop using it, regular users develop severe cravings.
Withdrawal and Physical Dependence
If you have a substance abuse problem, your body relies upon a drug to avoid symptoms of withdrawal. It makes sense that another drug can minimize these physical symptoms. Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are a few drugs that work.
Some symptoms of withdrawal from an opioid, like heroin, include:
- Muscle spasms
- Disturbed sleep
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Blurry vision
How Does Treatment for Physical Dependence Affect the Body?
The physical dependence on a drug means when the drug supply stops, the body has to adapt. Your metabolism has to reset. As a result, you experience severe discomfort. For instance, you may have excessive sweating, cramps, and nausea. Also likely are shortness of breath and agitation. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is essential to your safety during drug withdrawal. Appropriate medication in a safe environment eases your symptoms. What’s more, MAT helps you avoid relapse after you have begun recovery.
Methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine are MAT drugs in clinical use. Depending on the drug and how long you have been using it, one of these FDA-approved recovery medications can help.
- Methadone is a time-tested MAT for opioid dependence. Along with counseling and therapy, this drug is safe and effective. It makes you more comfortable as you undergo withdrawal and reduces your desire to relapse later. However, to prevent physical dependence upon methadone, you must use it under medical supervision.
- Buprenorphine is an opioid assisting in opioid withdrawal by helping alleviate withdrawal symptoms. After you complete MAT, this drug lessens your cravings and minimizes the effects of other opioids.
- Naltrexone negates the euphoric effects of opioids. Thus, if you relapse, you will not get the high you are seeking as naltrexone blocks the opioid receptors. Because they cannot react as you would like, it minimizes your cravings for drugs.
Sunflower Wellness Retreat Can Help
At Sunflower Wellness Retreat, we offer MAT for effective addiction treatment in the Midwest for physical dependence. Also, we provide one-on-one and group therapy. Find out more about our holistic treatment program by calling 855.730.8825 today.