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Psychological vs. Physical Addiction

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In the first part of our series on addiction, we broke down what the definition of addiction really means. The two types of addiction, psychological and physical, carry very different symptoms and effects. Read on to learn about what makes psychological addiction and physical addiction different from one another.

Psychological Addictions

A psychological addiction stems from a place of desire, not dependence. For some, an addiction happens when they are using a substance to chase a feeling of euphoria. Psychological addiction usually occurs when an individual is feeling the need to “escape their situation” and is looking for any way to do just that.

Psychological addictions imply that there is a mental craving for this drug. It doesn’t mean that the individual needs the substance to avoid withdrawals, but that they mentally feel like they need the drug in their life to function. An individual’s mental or emotional attachment to a drug or substance can lead to a physical addiction when used repeatedly.

Physical Addictions

After long-term use of a substance, a physical dependency can occur. When an individual experiences physical symptoms or withdrawals, a physical addiction is present. Repeatedly introducing a drug to your body can cause dependency issues, which can become so severe that your body needs it to function.

In some cases of physical addiction, the brain’s ability to create dopamine is affected. This is typical with drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, and can lead to long-term problems like depression, addictive behaviors, mood swings and various withdrawal symptoms.

A psychological or physical addiction is a serious health concern and requires treatment as soon as possible. If you see the signs of addiction in your life, the professionals at Turning Point of Tampa are here to help. With a focus on long-term sobriety, our team utilizes the 12-Step approach to help address psychological and physical addictions.

If you or a family member have any concerns or questions regarding addictions, please feel free to contact our Admissions Department at 1-800-397-3006 or admissions@tpoftampa.com.

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, contact Turning Point of Tampa today.