Substance use, abuse, and addiction

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition. Alcohol dependence is the need to drink alcohol often to function in your daily life.

a substance that causes physiological or psychological dependence is called

Read through this fascinating comic created by Stuart McMillen about psychologist’s Bruce Alexander’s Rat Park study on addiction. People struggling with addiction usually deny they have a problem and hesitate to seek treatment. An intervention presents a loved one with a structured opportunity to make changes before things get even worse and can motivate someone to seek or accept help. A type of study in which data on a particular group of people are gathered repeatedly over a period of years or even decades. A chemical substance that binds to and blocks the activation of certain receptors on cells, preventing a biological response. The process by which presentation of a stimulus such as a drug increases the probability of a response like drug taking.


Anyone with an addiction can get help at any point if they feel it’s the right time. Speak with your doctor if you have become physically dependent on a medication or other substance. Hosted by therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares strategies for coping with alcohol cravings and other addictions, featuring physiological dependence on alcohol addiction specialist John Umhau, MD. People who have a dependence on alcohol exhibit some or all of the following characteristics. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. The main categories of drugs are depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens.

Eventually, in the absence of the substance, a person may experience negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, or depression, or feel physically ill. This is called withdrawal, which often leads the person to use the substance again to relieve the withdrawal symptoms. Until recently, much of our knowledge about the neurobiology of substance use, misuse, and addiction came from the study of laboratory animals. Although no animal model fully reflects the human experience, animal studies let researchers investigate addiction under highly controlled conditions that may not be possible or ethical to replicate in humans. These types of studies have greatly helped to answer questions about how particular genes, developmental processes, and environmental factors, such as stressors, affect substance-taking behavior.

Binge/Intoxication Stage: Basal Ganglia

Second, substance use disorders may increase vulnerability for mental disorders,62-64 meaning that the use of certain substances might trigger a mental disorder that otherwise would have not occurred. As these possibilities are not mutually exclusive, the relationship between substance use disorders and mental disorders may result from a combination of these processes. Other studies also show that when an addicted person is given a stimulant, it causes a smaller release of dopamine than when the same dose is given to a person who is not addicted. Although the three stages of addiction generally apply to all addictive substances, different substances affect the brain and behavior in different ways during each stage of the addiction cycle.

a substance that causes physiological or psychological dependence is called

Withdrawal from opioids includes pain, which patients often misinterpret as pain caused by the problem that led to the original prescription, and which motivates patients to continue using the drugs. Substance dependence and substance abuse used to be classified as separate health conditions in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is the guiding manual for diagnosing mental health conditions. However, the latest edition, DSM-5, has included both conditions under the umbrella term of substance use disorder.