Exploring the Differences Between Addiction and Dependence

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Advanced Spine & Rehab’s discusses suboxone treatments for addiction recovery.

Suboxone treatment is a medical treatment that is used to address opioid addiction. An opioid itself, suboxone is used to replace the heroin or other painkiller that the person is addicted to. Naturally, this causes some to worry about the possibility of becoming addicted to Suboxone. To understand why this generally does not happen, it is important to understand the difference between addiction and dependence.

What is Addiction?

Taking illegal opiates such as heroine causes a feeling of euphoria in the brain. Addiction occurs when the individual craves that feeling of euphoria. As a result, the individual becomes unable to control their use of the substance, thereby resulting in an overwhelming need to increase the amount consumed or the frequency of use.

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What is Dependence?

Certain types of opiates are prescribed to assist with pain relief. Individuals who use these drugs over a period of time may experience a change in brain chemistry that causes them to become dependent on the drug. As such, the drug takes over the body’s natural actions, resulting in withdrawal symptoms if the person stops taking the drug. In this case, the person doesn’t take the drug in order to achieve euphoria, but rather to avoid withdrawal.

Because of the way Suboxone works in the body, it can result in dependence but is not likely to result in addiction. Therefore, it can be used as a medicine-based treatment for addiction to other opiates by helping to reduce the likelihood of cravings or the tendency to lose control. To learn more about Suboxone and how it works, contact Advanced Spine & Rehab for an appointment.