Mental and physical addiction often overlap and go hand in hand, but there is a difference. Psychological addiction relates more to the mind, while physical addiction is the dependence your body can gain on certain drugs, and how they interact with the body. The common medical practice would be to combine the process of detoxing from the substance while addressing the mental addiction, but there are times when detoxification may not be necessary, after the psychological part of addiction is addressed.
Detox, referred to as detox, is the process of stopping a substance and allowing the body to process and metabolize the drug while removing the toxic influence from the body. After the body has become dependent on a substance, this process can be very painful and uncomfortable, unless it is medically supervised in drug rehab or a medical center.
Understanding physical and psychological addiction can be helpful when determining the type of drug rehab and treatment that is best to pursue. It is first important to understand the blanket term addiction and how it relates to drug abuse. Addiction is a complex, chronic, but manageable disease in which a person has continued use of a substance or drug for mood-altering effects, despite the harmful or dangerous consequences it can cause.
Addiction can alter the way neural cells send, receive, and process information. Some of the ways they do this include:
• Over-stimulating the brain’s “reward center”.
• Binding with receptors located in the brain.
• Flooding the brain with an abundance of chemicals.
• Copying the brain’s chemical messengers.
Physical addiction is common with substances or drugs like opioids, methamphetamine, and alcohol. This type of addiction refers to experiencing physical symptoms from substance use or substance withdrawal. It is the body physically reacting to not having the substance it has become dependent on.
There are two common terms used with physical addiction, tolerance, and withdrawal. Tolerance is when the body requires more of the drug to obtain the same effect. Withdrawal is when a person stops using a drug or substance, and they begin to feel pain and sickness as the drug leaves the body.
Some of the signs of physical addiction include:
• Memory loss, blackouts
• Tremors, shaking, restless legs
• Headache, seizures, disorientation
• Body aches, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth
• Shortness of breath, pulse rate changes, blood pressure changes
Psychological addiction refers to the mental or emotional attachment to a substance or drug that can lead to compulsive behaviors such as seeking out and using the drug regardless of negative consequences. This can cause a person to believe they need the drug to achieve a goal, when in fact they do not. An example of this is using marijuana to fall asleep, the person will fall asleep without it regardless of how much they feel they need it.
Some signs of psychological addiction include:
• Intense cravings for the chosen substance.
• Appetite loss
• Inability to imagine life without the drug.
• Doctor shopping
• Depression, irritability, and mood swings.
Although physical and psychological addiction is different, they go hand in hand. It is common practice for drug treatment and rehabilitation programs to treat both of them together. The drug recovery program must address the multiple needs of the individual, including any underlying medical issues, comorbid medical conditions, and poly-substance abuse.
There are two main forms of treatment programs, which include inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment is usually recommended for individuals who are just starting the recovery process, and often include a form of medically supervised detox when needed. After detox, inpatient rehabilitation is often advised for an agreed-on amount of time by the individual and medical professionals. When this finished, outpatient treatment is recommended to help keep the individual’s recovery progressing positively. Common services offered by drug abuse and rehabilitation programs include:
• Withdrawal management (detox)
• Medication-assisted treatment
• Individual counseling
• Group counseling
• 12-Step recovery programs
• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Although physical and psychological addiction can be separated, they overlap each other and must be addressed for a successful recovery. Detoxification is often part of this process, and it is advised that an individual seek medical assistance to gain the best advice and expertise concerning how severe their addiction may be, and what the underlying causes could be. We can help, please reach out today and call us at 833-610-1174.