In the world of addiction recovery, it becomes an intense, complex dialogue when people begin discussing what constitutes as dependence versus addiction. It’s a rather highly debated topic – because some would say that they’re one in the same. If we turn to highly qualified resources, such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), for example, we’ll find that while these two terms – “dependence” and “addiction” – are quite similar and inherently related, there are some differences between the two.

Dependence typically refers to “a physical condition in which the body has adapted to the presence of a drug” whereas addiction refers to “a chronic, relapsing disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.”

The main difference between both of these terms is that dependence is the stage leading up to addiction; in other words, once a person has become dependent on substances, they’d need to seek treatment immediately to avoid the compulsive behaviors shown when addiction is present. These simple differences may seem minute to some, but they truly make a world of difference when comparing where one person is at in addiction recovery compared to another.

A person could certainly be both dependent and addicted to substances, but a person could just as well be dependent and not yet addicted, either. The following are some sincere warning signs of addiction that should be taken very seriously:

  •    Lying, stealing, etc. to obtain substances
  •    Continuing to abuse substances despite negative consequences appearing in one’s personal or professional life
  •    [List more signs]

If you’re ready to begin taking great strides towards your health and wellbeing, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today. Mental illness should be taken seriously and, if not treated early on, more severe conditions can arise. The best way to promote happiness and health is to seek help – and to begin using effective interventions for treating the problematic symptoms a person is experiencing. Don’t wait any longer to seek the help you need. Please call Alta Loma today – and you’ll be surrounded by a healthcare team who truly cares about your recovery. 866-457-3843