Wikia

Psychology Wiki

Physical dependence

Talk0
34,141pages on
this wiki

Redirected from Dependence, substance

Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Clinical: Approaches · Group therapy · Techniques · Types of problem · Areas of specialism · Taxonomies · Therapeutic issues · Modes of delivery · Model translation project · Personal experiences ·


Physical dependence refers to a state resulting from habitual use of a drug, where negative physical withdrawal symptoms result from abrupt discontinuation. it is to be distinguished from drug dependency which is characterised by a psychological craving for a drug.[1] From the point of view of the dependent person, "dependence is duress," argues addiction researcher Griffith Edwards.[2]

SymptomsEdit

Increased heart rate and/or blood pressure, sweating, and tremors are common signs of withdrawal. More serious symptoms such as confusion, seizures, and visual hallucinations indicate a serious emergency and the need for immediate medical care. Alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates are the only commonly abused substances that can be fatal in withdrawal. Abrupt withdrawal from other drugs, such as opioids or psychostimulants, can exaggerate mild to moderate neurotoxic side effects due to hyperthermia and generation of free radicals[3], but life-threatening complications are very rare.

TreatmentEdit

Treatment for physical dependence depends upon the drug being withdrawn and often includes administration of another drug, especially for substances that can be dangerous when abruptly discontinued. Treatment usually requires the initiation and then tapering of a medication that has a similar action in the brain but a longer half-life.

Difference from AddictionEdit

Physical dependence is different from drug addiction. The latter is often characterized by a psychological need for a drug, while the former can often be the result of legal, long-term use of medicine.[4]

Drugs that cause physical dependenceEdit

References Edit

  1. Drug Addiction. CNN.
  2. Griffith Edwards. Alcohol: The World's Favourite Drug. 1st US ed. Thomas Dunne Books: 2002. ISBN 0-312-28387-3. P 72.
  3. Sharma HS, Sjöquist PO, Ali SF. "Drugs of abuse-induced hyperthermia, blood-brain barrier dysfunction and neurotoxicity: neuroprotective effects of a new antioxidant compound H-290/51." Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2007;13(18):1903-23. PMID 17584116
  4. Drug Abuse - Addiction vs. Dependence. Our Chronic Pain Mission.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  • Drugs causing physical dependence taken from Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, Section 15, Chapter 195" Merck Manual.


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki