What is Physical Dependence?

Physical dependence is a state in which the body has adjusted to the presence of a drug and requires its continued use to function normally. Physical dependence can develop due to long-term use of certain drugs, such as opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol, which affect the brain and nervous system.

When a person with physical dependence stops using the drug, they may experience withdrawal symptoms, including discomfort, pain, and anxiety. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and can range from mild symptoms, such as sweating and agitation, to more severe symptoms, such as seizures and hallucinations. Physical dependence differs from psychological dependence, which involves a strong emotional and psychological attachment to a drug and is often characterized by intense cravings and compulsive drug-seeking behavior.

Physical dependence can be a sign of addiction, but it is also a normal physiological response to long-term drug use, and it can be managed with proper treatment and support.

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