New Brunswick, (PressExposure) June 02, 2009 -- According to studies and research drawn from countless cases of addiction, the term addiction itself is divided into two (2) categories; the physical dependency and psychological dependency. Several adult and adolescent drug rehab centers across the US have come to consider these two categories to be the central part of the treatment they would be using for the patient. Understanding these two categories brings therapists and researchers much closer to the treatment they would need.
According to therapists of adult and adolescent drug rehab centers, physical dependency on a substance is defined by the appearance of characteristic withdrawal symptoms when the substance is suddenly discontinued. Opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates and alcohol induce physical dependence.
So, while physical dependency can be a major factor in the psychology of addiction and most often becomes a primary motivator in the continuation of an addiction, the initial primary attribution of an addictive substance is usually its ability to induce pleasure. Although with continued use, the goal is not so much to induce pleasure as it is to relieve the anxiety caused by the absence of a given addictive substance, causing it to become used compulsively.
The speed with which a given individual becomes addicted to various substances varies with the substance, the frequency of use, the means of ingestion, the intensity of pleasure or euphoria, and the individual's genetic and psychological susceptibility. Opioid dependent individuals have different responses to even low doses of opioids than the majority of people, although this may be due to a variety of other factors, as opioid use heavily stimulates pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters in the brain.
Popular treatments for physical dependency are the use of medications such as methadone and buprenorphine for opioid dependency and drug detoxification for drug withdrawal.
Psychological dependency is a dependency of the mind, and leads to psychological withdrawal symptoms (such as cravings, irritability, insomnia, depression, anorexia, etc). Addiction can in theory be derived from any rewarding behaviour, and is believed to be strongly associated with the dopaminergic system of the brain's reward system (as in the case of cocaine and amphetamines).
Many adolescent drug rehab therapists claim that it is a habitual means to avoid undesired activity, but typically it is only so to a clinical level in individuals who have emotional, social, or psychological dysfunctions (psychological addiction is defined as such), replacing normal positive stimuli not otherwise attained.
One popular treatment for psychological dependency is the use of group therapies. The 12 Step Program is one of the few group therapies currently used in many rehabs as treatment for drug abuse.