What Is the Difference Between Drug Dependency & Addiction?

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Drug dependency and addiction go hand in hand, as addiction occurs simultaneously with the body becoming physically dependent on its properties. Understand the definitions of dependency and addiction with information from a licensed mental health counselor in this free video on drug abuse.

Part of the Video Series: Drugs & Addiction
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Video Transcript

Hello I'm Dr. David Thomas, I'm a practicing therapist in Tampa, Florida with Whitford Thomas Group. Today I'm going to talk to you about the difference between drug dependency and addiction. When we're dealing with drug dependency and addiction, really you're talking about the same thing, it's just a different way to phrase it. When we do talk about addiction, again we're not talking about abuse or misuse of alcohol and drugs, we really are talking about dependency. And so when we look at dependency or we look at addictions whether it be alcohol and drugs, it really doesn't make much difference, we're really looking at kind of the causes and cure of dependency. For the most part, when one becomes moves or shifts from abuse to dependency, the primary difference is we begin to collect more negative consequences for it's use. And so the more negative consequences we collect, the more likely are we become dependent upon the drug or alcohol. And so when we look at dependency, we want to look at the difference between a wanting desire to use alcohol or to use drugs and moving that into the belief that we need to use the alcohol and drug to achieve some effect. Often times with addictions or dependency, the effect we're trying to achieve, and one of my colleagues also often says that that, there's probably a percentage of the population who really just gets hooked on the high, they just really like and desire the high and after continued use and more consumption, it shifts to the need to get high. For others, after prolonged use, there's a tendency to become dependent upon the use for some desired effects to feel more comfortable in social situations, to be able to do better on jobs or on their job, things of that sort. So in essence, there really is no difference between addictions and dependency, it's just a different way to phrase it. Again I'm Dr. David Thomas and thank you for watching this video.

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