compassionate woman consoling younger woman as she explains what are the emotional and physical effects of dependency

What Are The Emotional And Psychological Effects Of Dependency?

There is an important difference between drug dependency and drug addiction. Dependence and addiction often occur together, but the former pertains to the body’s physical reliance on the drug, while addiction is the other half: the behavioral aspect and the tolerance of self-harm and harm to others. For many, a sense of ambiguity surrounds the psychological dependence definition, and it can be easy to confuse the two terms. It might not be entirely wrong to use one in place of the other. However, when discussing the emotional and psychological toll that substance dependency entails, it’s important to remember that dependency is distinct from addiction.

What are the emotional and psychological effects of dependency? Numerous adverse effects are caused by dependence on a drug, but the severity changes depending on the drug in question. For instance, the psychological effects of going weeks without cocaine will likely be more severe than the same amount of time without alcohol, but it is the same psychological effect. This particular draw to relapse is one of the most common reasons for remaining in an unhealthy relationship with drugs or alcohol. 

It’s hard to manage the withdrawal period on one’s own, so Right Step Houston is committed to providing the care necessary to address the effects of dependency effectively. Don’t hesitate to call us today at 1.844.768.0169, where you can speak to one of our trained professionals about what accommodations we offer, as well as pricing and insurance coverage.

Emotional Effects of Dependency

When someone becomes “emotionally dependent” on a drug, it carries this softer connotation that “chemically dependent” may not. This is gravely untrue. When the chemical composition in your brain or body is knocked off balance due to taking drugs or other substances, it can have far-reaching effects that span heightened emotional volatility or comfort. Both extremes can have devastating consequences.

Being too positively dependent on a drug can feed into any number of problems. If marijuana is comforting and takes the edge off stressful days, it can function as a coping mechanism. While there is certainly nothing wrong with using personally beneficial means to cope with anxiety, coping by using drugs or drinking alcohol means you’re left with a strong incentive to continue using despite the health risks it can incur. Not to mention that given enough time, the quantity of substance needed to mitigate stress or anxiety will increase due to a heightened tolerance. It’s just not sustainable over time.

Ultimately, using drugs as a crutch to overcome an emotional issue will result in underdeveloped emotional responses, regardless of the drug’s actual effect.

Psychological Effects of Dependency

The psychological dependence definition is similar to its emotional counterpart. Being psychologically attached to drugs means severing that attachment can be harmful in some areas. A frequently occurring, widely shared instance of this are periods of self-actualization, in which users realize they cannot function without taking drugs. For those who have ever felt the drive to kick their drug addiction, this cycle of relapse can lead to seemingly insurmountable feelings of depression and low self-worth. Some psychologists would describe this as a negative feedback loop.

Part of asking “what are the emotional and psychological effects of dependency” involves realizing the two are deeply intertwined. One’s psychological state feeds into their emotions, and for that reason, many of the psychological effects of dependency are the cause of a poor or unstable emotional state. Some of the most consistent psychological effects that are induced by substance dependency are:

  • Depression when the drug is unavailable
  • Appetite changes
  • Fatigued
  • Disinterest in activities once found enjoyable
  • Low self-worth

Get Started With Right Step Houston

If you’re on the fence about taking the first step toward recovery, it’s natural. Beginning the rehab process can feel daunting, which is why you must make the most informed choice possible. The Right Step Houston is experienced in working with people struggling with drug dependency from all walks of life.

To learn more about our treatment services, call us at 1.844.768.0169, and feel free to ask questions and address your concerns.

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