Substance abuse is often a person’s way to cope when everything else they try seems to fail. This level of drug dependency is usually a way to escape negative emotions, traumatic experiences, or other unbearable underlying issues. The result turns into addictive behavior that becomes dangerous and destructive to individuals and their loved ones.
What is Drug Dependency?
By definition, drug dependency is the body’s reaction to a physical craving for a specific substance. Use over a long period of time results in various physical and behavioral issues. Stopping use of the desired substance leads to withdrawals. A person can become dependent on drugs prescribed by their doctor or drugs acquired illegally.
How Drug Dependency Differs from Drug Addiction
The terms “dependency” and “addiction” are often used interchangeably. However, drug dependence isn’t the same as having an addiction.
It’s possible for a person to develop a dependency without being addicted. Typically, dependence is when the body responds a certain way to a substance. For example, a person may need medication for chronic medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.
Drug dependence may involve the person developing a high tolerance for the substance. This is because as the body adapts to the drug, higher or more frequent doses are necessary.
With drug addiction, a person develops a habit of using without becoming dependent on the drug. This can involve continuing to use the drug despite knowing the negative consequences. An addicted person is unable to stop using drugs without some type of professional help. Eventually, social and employment responsibilities suffer because of frequent drug use.
Contributing Factors to Drug Dependency
Not everyone exposed to common risk factors will develop a drug dependency. However, there is a correlation between certain environmental, individual, and genetic factors. These, along with emotional distress can make some people more susceptible than other people.
It’s not unusual for children to become addicts when they grew up in a home where a parent or guardian was dependent on drugs. Absent this type of environment, some mental disorders can lead to dependence.
Some studies show that conditions such as attention deficit, bipolar, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder are diagnosed in people trying to stop depending on drugs.
This co-occurrence of drugs and a mental disorder requires a dual diagnosis for anyone seeking treatment. Struggling with one condition, while trying to overcome another, creates a scenario for failure.
It’s important to address both an emotional illness and chemical dependency concurrently. Proper assessment by professionals helps to ensure complete recovery occurs.
Drug Dependency Treatment and Recovery
Treatment can become complicated once a person’s drug abuse escalates to dependence. However, hope isn’t lost because a person can learn to stop using the drug. Abruptly stopping something when the body has a physical dependence can cause drug withdrawal symptoms. Help from a healthcare provider with a partial hospitalization program is often necessary.
In some cases, a person may receive substances that mimic the effects an illicit drug has to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Most detox programs combine medical treatment with therapy to treat an underlying disorder while easing the person’s dependence. Extreme cases may require emergency care before dependence treatment begins.
It’s possible for the right treatment plan to reverse a person’s dependence, but they must first want to receive professional drug and alcohol addiction treatment. The long-term outlook for ongoing therapy and support can help a person stay on track.
True Recovery Goes Deeper Than Symptoms of Dependency
Counselors and medical professionals have training and experience to help a person get through withdrawals. The next, and often most crucial, step in recovery is creating a treatment plan that goes beyond the symptoms. An individualized treatment plan is something a person can take back to everyday life to stay clean and sober.
Located in California, Serenity Lodge ensures that our Guests receive tools to use long after treatment ends. Utilizing everything learned during rehab will help our Guests avoid relapse and enjoy a long recovery.
We offer comprehensive services with amenities such as:
- 1,500 square ft. gym
- Movie theater
- Professional recording studio
- Meditation therapy
- Pool and hot tub
- Nutrition therapy