Am I addicted to or dependent on alcohol or drugs?

This is often a question as to whether a person is suffering from addiction or dependence. Both may require treatment in order to regain independence from a particular medication or substance like prescription drugs or alcohol. Dependence refers to a situation where there is a need for daily use of a medication or substance and the prompt discontinuation of that substance will result in withdrawal symptoms. This is a situation that can result from the continued use of alcohol, sleeping pills, benzodiazepines and pain medications like OxyContin. Dependence can occur even when medications are prescribed legally and the patient becomes dependent upon these substances. Dependence can also occur when these drugs start being used inappropriately, for example recreational usage or frequency beyond the prescribed medications.

Addiction is a more serious condition than dependence. Dictionary definition of addiction is the compulsive need for and use of a habit forming substance such as heroin, nicotine, prescription drugs, and alcohol. Characterized by tolerance and by the well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal from opiates and other drugs and broadly persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful. Addiction encompasses every listed symptom above but also carries with it a person’s willingness and need to continue the use of the substance despite substantial and significant negative consequences of continued use of that drug. Such consequences can include illegal behavior in the attainment or use of that substance, loss of personal relations, loss of employment, or personal injury.

Whether you are dealing with dependence or addiction, treatment by trained professionals in a comfortable and caring environment is paramount to achieving your independence. Detox Solutions of the Palm Beaches can fulfill that need and help you take the first step in your recovery.

For more information about our Florida detox center, please contact us.

* All header photos from Jolane Photography are reprinted with the express permission of Jolane Photography.