Drug dependence definition, and the psychology behind it

Drug dependence

Millions of Americans across the country today have come in contact with this disorder at one point of their life or they are going through it at this moment. This can partly be attributed to the fact that drug dependence has not been characterized as abuse rather a problem that could be fixed.

Drug addiction and drug dependence meanings are often put into the same basket in mainstream media and even in everyday life. However, these two conditions are different and there are several reasons for this. The most prevailing difference is that people who have developed drug dependence need their drug in order to function normally.

The most commonly used, modern, drug dependence definition, according to the APA (American Psychiatric Association) is that the condition is a substance use disorder. This can be most noticed with people who deal with severe anxiety, depression, or ADHD as well as many other persisting conditions.

Drug dependence meaning

In order to better understand this condition, we need to go through some examples and some comparisons with drug addiction or abuse. Drug addiction is a difficult condition in which the patient finds himself or herself using drugs despite the consequences. As well as being neglectful of work and social obligations.

People who suffer from drug addiction can be noticed without difficulties. On the other hand, people who have developed a drug dependence will behave as normal. This also makes drug dependence treatment far harder as the people in question need the drug to be able to conduct their lives.

The problem arises when drug-dependent people start increasing the amount of the drug they intake. This can happen since they can develop a tolerance for the respective drug. In this case, the drug dependence definition changes again. Now the drug poses an increasing risk to the person’s health.

Drug dependence treatment

This way, abusing drug use can lead to the development of dependency. Using more and more drugs will escalate the situation. The best way to stop this from happening would be to stop using the respective drug. However, if you do so on a dime it will cause physical side effects.

The best way to start fighting drug dependence is to work with your local health care professionals. They will most likely prescribe other drugs that mimic the effect of the first one and this will help you slowly get your drug dependence in order. Other than this there is also a comprehensive detox program.

The drug dependence definition will change depending on these issues. As detox programs work with psychiatrists and medical professionals to alleviate the effects of drug dependence. This step can be considered crucial and often after the treatment is done you will still need to go to therapy to help with the fallout.

Drug testing and drug dependence

Extensive drug testing while taking powerful drugs has shown that it is possible to combat this condition. With modern testing methods (such as dip cards and test cups) making this experience painless, quick, and easy to do at home. Working with healthcare professionals and drug testing can give you a clear picture of how much you intake.

This may seem like an unusual way to combat such a big issue but if you are able to control your intake the less the chance of dependence developing. Through this, the drug dependence definition is again changed, or rather it’s meaning. Since it can be regulated and combated relatively easily with some help from medical staff.

Drug dependence can be dangerous, as most of the drugs prescribed to people with persisting conditions are quite strong. Extensive use of these drugs can lead to overdose, heart failure as well as new long term complications. In order to prevent this people need a tool, they can use to regulate themselves.


Drug dependence is a dangerous condition, its effects can be wide ranging and long lasting if not confronted on time. Extensive drug testing can help you combat this, but note all testing must be done in consultation with medical staff as they know best how to regulate your intake.

If you have found yourself in dependence or even addiction, feel free to look for help. The fight will be awful but the reward is well worth the trip!

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