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Is Physical Dependence the Same as Addiction?

Addiction is a complex disease that requires an entire change in our mind, body, and spirit to overcome. Anyone can become physically dependent on drugs or alcohol over a long enough period of use, but this is only symptomatic of one aspect of addiction.

There is a common misconception that non-physically addictive substance, such as marijuana, cannot cause addiction. However, the disease of addiction is not substance-specific, rather it is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. If we suffer from the disease of addiction, it doesn’t matter what mind or mood-altering chemical we are using—we can still become addicted. This is why the solution to overcoming addiction and alcoholism requires much more than detoxification of the body. Detox is only the first step toward sobriety, after which we must engage in a recovery program to change our thinking and behaviors in order to maintain our sobriety. Many of us can remember a time before we picked up a drink or a drug—we were constantly restless, irritable, and discontent. Our drug and alcohol use was simply an attempt to self-medicate this discontentment. Many people in recovery programs realize in retrospect that they were untreated addicts or alcoholics long before they began using drugs or alcohol. The physical dependence on drugs or alcohol were only a result of our patterns of substance abuse and pre-existing disease of addiction.

If we truly wish to recover from a hopeless state of body and mind, we vigorously engage in a recovery program that addresses every factor of our addiction rather than solely our physical dependence. Without the development of an entirely new set of morals, values, and behaviors, we will quickly fall back into active addiction even if we have gone through the process of removing our physical dependence on drugs and alcohol. Addiction is not simply being dependent on drugs or alcohol as a result of chronic use, but a complex disease that affects every aspect of our being. Therefore, we work everyday to treat our mind, body, and spirit through our chosen recovery program. Addiction is a threefold disease—focusing only on the physical aspect but not treating the mind or spirit will quickly lead us back into active addiction because our thought processes and spiritual life have not changed.

Life in active addiction is no way to live. If you are struggling or care for someone who is struggling with addiction, you know that life can be better. It’s time to live. Ready? Set- GO. Resilient House cultivates the resilience necessary to those in recovery for lasting wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Bringing together the best in clinical and holistic expertise, our full continuum of care is designed to help you change your life for good. Call us today for information: 833-CHANGE1