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What Is Physical Dependence?

a man holds his head and looks down at the floor

Drugs and alcohol affect our physical, mental, and emotional health. They can alter perception, flood our brains with chemicals, and cause various physical symptoms. Drug addiction and dependence affect people from all walks of life. Every day people across the United States and here in Boise struggle with drug dependency. Physical dependence may be the first sign of addiction, and treatment can provide holistic support for the addiction’s physical, mental, and emotional effects. The best way to treat substance abuse drug dependence is a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program.

If you or someone you love needs substance abuse treatment in Boise, call Ashwood Recovery today. Our flexible outpatient treatment programs can help you and your loved ones overcome physical dependence and thrive. Call us now at 888.341.3607 to learn about the benefits of our programs and get started today.

What Is Physical Dependency?

As the name suggests, physical dependency occurs when the body becomes dependent on a substance. Our bodies are born with physical dependence on essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. When we go without them, our body sends signals as symptoms. When we need water, we become thirsty. Similar physical signs occur when someone develops drug or alcohol dependence.

Substances like drugs and alcohol alter a person’s brain chemistry. They flood the brain with naturally occurring chemicals. Over time, the brain stops making these chemicals and relies on drugs or alcohol for them. Dependence can cause withdrawal when someone suddenly stops drinking or using drugs. Withdrawal symptoms are often the first sign of physical dependence.

Understanding Drug Dependency and Withdrawal

When the brain stops receiving chemicals like dopamine, GABA, and serotonin, it will go into shock. Over time, the brain will start to make chemicals on its own. However, this transition can be physically, emotionally, and mentally painful. Some signs of physical dependence and withdrawal include:

  • Drug cravings
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Profuse sweating
  • Confusion
  • Delusions
  • Anger
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Reckless behavior

Physical dependence creates physical symptoms. For most, withdrawal can feel like intense flu symptoms. Body aches, shaking, sweating, and headaches are common. For those with co-occurring mood disorders, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder can worsen. During withdrawal, it can be impossible to resist relapse with willpower alone. A substance abuse treatment program is the safest, most effective way to manage drug dependence.

Some people develop post-acute withdrawal syndrome, PAWS for short, which causes physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms to persist and reoccur months after initial withdrawal. PAWS can lead to hopelessness, self-isolation, and relapse without treatment. Treatment is the only way to avoid many people’s relapse, overdose, and drug or alcohol-related death.

Begin Substance Abuse Treatment in Boise, Idaho Today

Physical dependence can wreak havoc on organs, tissues, and overall health. To mitigate withdrawal symptoms, understand addiction triggers, and heal, call the team at Ashwood Recovery today. Our comprehensive outpatient programs provide individualized detox plans with the flexibility you need. With dual diagnosis treatment, we help patients uncover, treat, and understand co-occurring disorders like depression, OCD, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. Our outpatient programs include:

  • One-on-one counseling
  • Intensive outpatient treatment
  • Partial hospitalization treatment
  • Traditional outpatient programs
  • Family therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy

With medical intervention and relapse prevention, patients at Ashwood Recovery get the support they deserve throughout recovery. Our programs are here to help you and your loved ones recover from drug dependence without leaving home.

Treat Physical Drug and Alcohol Dependence at Ashwood Recovery

Physical dependence is a sign it’s time for professional treatment. Don’t wait. Call Ashwood Recovery today at 888.341.3607 to find the right outpatient program for you and your loved ones.