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Addiction is incredibly difficult to face. It’s something that causes a lot of pain and heartache to people suffering from it, as well as their family, friends, and loved ones. It can be very difficult for people to seek help when they have issues with addiction. They may face physical, psychological, and emotional side effects that must be addressed. Getting help can be a difficult journey, but one that is worth it. Reclaiming your life is a reward in itself. If you or someone you love is looking to receive drug treatment in Utah, Renaissance Ranch can help. 

Here we will take a look at what the terms addiction and dependence mean, and the physical, psychological, and emotional tolls they can take on a person. 

What is Addiction?

Defining an addiction can be difficult. Many people who abuse legal or illegal substances aren’t always addicts–but many addictions begin with substance abuse. There are many people who use illicit substances without developing a dependency on them. People suffering from addiction have no control over their use of substances. The term “addiction” encompasses the mental and physical dependence one has on a substance.

Addiction causes a change in a person’s behavior, causing them to act irrationally when the substance they are addicted to is not in their system. A person suffering from addiction will find themselves prioritizing substance use without any regard for the harm they are causing themselves or others. They will neglect social, family, and work obligations. This is due to the biochemical changes in their brain caused by continued substance abuse. 

What is Dependence?

When discussing addiction, the term dependence is frequently thrown around. According to Healthline it “refers to the process by which your mind and body come to depend on a substance so you keep feeling a certain way. This tends to result in withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the substance.” It is most often characterized by the symptoms of withdrawal and tolerance from substance abuse. Dependence can affect an addict physically, psychologically, and emotionally. 

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) defines dependence on a scale based on the time and degree a person has abused substances. Substance abuse is seen as an early stage of dependence. As the frequency of abuse increases, the more likely a person is of developing a dependency

In 2013, the DSM-V swapped the terminology to describe “substance abuse” and “substance dependency” to “substance use disorder.”

Physical, Psychological, and Emotional Dependence

Dependency has multiple effects on a person suffering from addiction. The effects are never “purely psychological” or “purely physical.” Instead, it is a mixture of all of these to varying degrees. Rehab facilities can help to address these forms of dependence. 

Psychological dependence and emotional dependence often go hand in hand. These forms of dependence refer to cognitive and emotional aspects of addiction. Addicts may also experience these forms of dependence while going through the withdrawal process as well. Some examples of the symptoms of psychological and emotional dependency include:


  • Anxiety and Depression – This often comes out when someone attempts to put a stop to the addictive behavior.
  • Irritability or Restlessness – This can happen while going through withdrawal or while not being able to use the substance they’re addicted to.
  • Mood Swings
  • Cravings
  • Dramatic Change in Appetite
  • Denial of Their Substance Use
  • Obsessing or Romanticizing Their Substance Use
  • Cognitive Issues – This can include difficulties with concentration, memory, or judgment.
  • Social Isolation


The abuse of substances can cause an addict’s body to become so dependent that it may struggle to function without it. No matter what substance is abused, the body can become addicted. The physical effects of dependency can vary from person to person. Many people who abuse a large number of drugs for a long time will affect far worse effects than someone who uses less. 

When substances are introduced into a person’s body, their system will create its own chemical reaction to counter the effects of the substances. Over time the body stops reacting in the way that it did in the beginning. This leads to the development of tolerance. Some examples of the symptoms of physical dependency include:


  • Heart Palpitations or Racing Heart
  • Sweating
  • Tightness in the Chest
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Tremor


Getting Help

If you or one of your loved ones is struggling with addiction and is ready to seek help, Renaissance Ranch in Sandy, Utah can help. Our LDS rehab centers are faith-focused to help men address their addictions. Our belief is that true recovery includes spiritual healing, so we combine the 12-step program with faith-based principles. To learn more about what our treatment center can offer, call us today at 1 855-736-7262.