Addiction is a medical condition characterized by strong cravings for a specific substance. These cravings are caused by physical changes in your brain as a result of repeated substance exposure. Substance abuse becomes the addict’s top priority, regardless of the harm it may cause to themselves or others. These cravings can lead to uncontrolled drug or alcohol use, which hurts your health, relationships, career, finances, and other areas of your life.
Dependence, on the other hand, refers to the state of being physically dependent on a specific substance. Addiction is rooted in your brain, but dependence occurs when your entire body becomes accustomed to the effects of a specific substance and experiences withdrawal if you stop using it.
While it is possible to have both dependence and addiction at the same time, it is also possible to have one without the other. You can be addicted to a drug without having a physical dependence on it. If you know someone who is addicted or becomes dependent on drugs or alcohol, call for help from the professional staff who are dedicated to providing the best medical care possible to anyone who’s been dealing with substance abuse.