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What is Psychological Dependence? Los Angeles Outpatient Treatment

You can find these lines listed on the internet or in the phone book. Drug addiction can start with experimental use of a recreational drug in social situations, and, for some people, the drug use becomes more frequent. For others, particularly with opioids, drug addiction begins when they take prescribed medicines or receive them from others who have prescriptions. No matter how hopeless alcohol use disorder may seem, treatment can help.

  • Consuming more alcohol further suppresses brain chemicals and activity, resulting in temporary relief but, ultimately, causes more discomfort when the brain tries to return to a normal state.
  • Generally, individuals report feeling emotionally high when fully engaged in their favorite activities.
  • Sensitization resulting from repeated withdrawal cycles and leading to both more severe and more persistent symptoms therefore may constitute a significant motivational factor that underlies increased risk for relapse .
  • In most agencies, it is the employee relations or human resources specialist who actually prepares or drafts adverse or disciplinary action letters, including those involving a firm choice.
  • Wand GS, Dobs AS. Alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in actively drinking alcoholics.
  • The main glucocorticoid in humans and other primates is cortisol; the main glucocorticoid in rodents is corticosterone.

Daily drinking of even small amounts of alcohol will lead to a diminution of the experienced effects, or tolerance. If reasonably large amounts of alcohol are consumed for extended periods, physical dependence may develop, as measured by the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is withheld. Tolerance and physical dependence are usually considered to be early and late manifestations, respectively, of the same or closely related physiological phenomena. Recently there have been several adequate rodent models developed for the study of tolerance to and physical dependence on ethanol2,5,6. Application of these models may greatly increase our knowledge about the early stages of tolerance and dependence development and have considerable impact on theories of tolerance and dependence. When discussing substance abuse and addiction there is a lot of lingo that gets thrown around.

Attend treatment for addiction, mental health, or dual diagnosis concerns in the comfort of your own home!

Overstreet DH, Knapp DJ, Breese GR. Accentuated decrease in social interaction in rats subjected to repeated ethanol withdrawals. Lopez MF, Anderson RI, Becker HC. Repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure increase both self-administration and the reinforcing value of ethanol in C57BL/6J mice. Brown G, Jackson A, Stephens DN. Effects of repeated withdrawal from chronic ethanol on oral self-administration of ethanol on a progressive ratio schedule. Researchers and treatment professionals have many theories on the precise process that causes addiction, with a varying focus on the body or brain sides of treatment.

What is a physiological dependence quizlet?

Physiological Dependence. The user/abuser develops a dependence on the drug and must maintain intake in order to prevent physical side effects, such as withdrawal symptoms.

This may involve taking the employee home or at least taking him or her to the health unit, the EAP office, or some other safe location. An employee who is physically resisting should be dealt with by agency security or local police. It would be appropriate to consider having a family member take the employee home. There could be some serious liability issues involved here so it is important to consult with Human Resources, Employee Relations, and the legal counsel’s office.


Similarly, this approach leads to increased anxiety-like behavior in rodents that persists many weeks into abstinence (Zhao et al. 2007) and can be reinstated with exposure to a mild stressor (Valdez et al. 2002). One hypothesis is that this negative emotional state contributes to relapse behavior. Significant advancements have been made in understanding the neurobiological underpinnings and environmental factors that influence motivation to drink as well as the consequences of excessive alcohol use. This latter finding suggests that elevated alcohol self-administration does not merely result from long-term alcohol exposure per se, but rather that repeated withdrawal experiences underlie enhanced motivation for alcohol seeking/consumption. This effect apparently was specific to alcohol because repeated chronic alcohol exposure and withdrawal experience did not produce alterations in the animals’ consumption of a sugar solution .

  • These therapies may be held on an individual or group basis but should be individualized to meet each patient’s unique needs.
  • From there, they move into addressing the underlying causes of their substance use, which is the psychological side of addiction.
  • An example of this might be someone using alcohol on a daily basis to cope with stressors, or an individual smoking to calm themselves down.
  • Psychological dependence involves a desire for the pleasurable feelings of drugs or alcohol.
  • Lopez MF, Anderson RI, Becker HC. Repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure increase both self-administration and the reinforcing value of ethanol in C57BL/6J mice.

Why does an alcoholic continue to drink despite the known facts about the disease and the obvious adverse consequences of continued drinking? In the early stage, the alcoholic does not consider himself or herself sick because his or her tolerance is increasing. In the middle stage, the alcoholic is unknowingly physically dependent on alcohol. He or she simply finds that continuing to use alcohol will prevent the problems of withdrawal. By the time an alcoholic is in the late stage, he or she is often irrational, deluded, and unable to understand what has happened.

Why Does Physiological Dependence Develop?

In many cases, psychological dependence is examined in conjunction with drug use. When an individual uses an addictive drug, the drug produces feelings of euphoria, happiness, and pleasure by changing the way that cells in the brain communicate. Two important neurotransmitters in the brain that are influenced by drugs include dopamine and opioids. Many drugs of addiction cause these neurotransmitters to be released, thus allowing the user to feel pleasure and euphoria. For instance, as you grow up, early exposure to alcohol can make it more likely for you to develop an alcohol use disorder later. If you are genetically predisposed to other mental health problems like depression, you may also have increased risk factors for substance use problems.

The positive reinforcing effects of alcohol generally are accepted as important motivating factors in alcohol-drinking behavior in the early stages of alcohol use and abuse. These effects most often are examined using animal models of self-administration. With different operant conditioning procedures, researchers can determine the time course, pattern, and frequency of responding for alcohol. For example, investigators can use progressive-ratio schedules of reinforcement, in which the number of responses (e.g., lever presses) required for subsequent delivery of the reinforcer (e.g., alcohol) gradually increases throughout a session. This procedure allows researchers to determine the maximum number of responses (i.e., the breakpoint) that animals are willing to perform to obtain a single reinforcer. Operant procedures most often are used to examine oral self-administration of alcohol, but they also can be used to assess self-administration of alcohol via other routes.


The ultimate goal when it comes to treating alcohol dependence or as the DSM-5 now calls it alcohol use disorder, is to help with establishing abstinence from drinking. For some, it is reconnecting with themselves and obtaining self-esteem and confidence, a healthier lifestyle , creating new relationships with other like-minded people as well as rekindling or mending old relationships if possible. The treatment process consists typically of two parts short-term and long-term. There are several reasons why someone with alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependency would seek treatment.

Alcohol and hemorrhoids: Possible links and more – Medical News Today

Alcohol and hemorrhoids: Possible links and more.

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Chemical dependency, sometimes called physical addiction, is when your brain chemistry has adapted to the presence of alcohol in your system. Some drugs, like marijuana, don’t cause very potent chemical dependence, but people can still become psychologically dependent on the drug. Alcohol addiction, more commonly called alcoholism, is a complicated disease that affects the brain.

This class of drugs includes, among others, heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone, fentanyl and oxycodone. Synthetic cannabinoids, also called K2 or Spice, are sprayed on dried herbs and then smoked, but can be prepared as an herbal tea. Despite manufacturer claims, these are chemical compounds rather than “natural” or harmless products. These physiological dependence on alcohol drugs can produce a “high” similar to marijuana and have become a popular but dangerous alternative. Dr. Ashish Bhatt, MD explains the differences between physical dependency and addiction. Addiction encompasses both a mental and physical reliance on a given substance. If you drink more alcohol than that, consider cutting back or quitting.