Physical dependence

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

Physical dependence (or drug dependence) refers to a state resulting from habitual use of a drug, where negative physical withdrawal symptoms result from abrupt discontinuation.[1] From the point of view of the dependent person, "dependence is duress," argues addiction researcher Griffith Edwards.[2]

Symptoms

Increased heart rate and/or blood pressure, sweating, and tremors are common signs of withdrawal. More serious symptoms such as confusion, seizures, and visual hallucinations indicate a serious emergency and the need for immediate medical care. Alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates are the only commonly abused substances that can be fatal in withdrawal. Abrupt withdrawal from other drugs, such as opioids or psychostimulants, can exaggerate mild to moderate neurotoxic side effects due to hyperthermia and generation of free radicals[3], but life-threatening complications are very rare.

Treatment

Treatment for physical dependence depends upon the drug being withdrawn and often includes administration of another drug, especially for substances that can be dangerous when abruptly discontinued. Treatment usually requires the initiation and then tapering of a medication that has a similar action in the brain but a longer half-life.

Difference from Addiction

Physical dependence is different from drug addiction. The latter is often characterized by a psychological need for a drug, while the former can often be the result of legal, long-term use of medicine.[4]

Drugs that cause physical dependence

References

  1. "Drug Addiction". CNN.
  2. Griffith Edwards. Alcohol: The World's Favourite Drug. 1st US ed. Thomas Dunne Books: 2002. ISBN 0-312-28387-3. P 72.
  3. Sharma HS, Sjöquist PO, Ali SF. "Drugs of abuse-induced hyperthermia, blood-brain barrier dysfunction and neurotoxicity: neuroprotective effects of a new antioxidant compound H-290/51." Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2007;13(18):1903-23. PMID 17584116
  4. "Drug Abuse - Addiction vs. Dependence". Our Chronic Pain Mission.

See also

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Cost Effectiveness of Physical dependence

| group5 = Clinical Trials Involving Physical dependence | list5 = Ongoing Trials on Physical dependence at Clinical Trials.govTrial results on Physical dependenceClinical Trials on Physical dependence at Google


| group6 = Guidelines / Policies / Government Resources (FDA/CDC) Regarding Physical dependence | list6 = US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Physical dependenceNICE Guidance on Physical dependenceNHS PRODIGY GuidanceFDA on Physical dependenceCDC on Physical dependence


| group7 = Textbook Information on Physical dependence | list7 = Books and Textbook Information on Physical dependence


| group8 = Pharmacology Resources on Physical dependence | list8 = AND (Dose)}} Dosing of Physical dependenceAND (drug interactions)}} Drug interactions with Physical dependenceAND (side effects)}} Side effects of Physical dependenceAND (Allergy)}} Allergic reactions to Physical dependenceAND (overdose)}} Overdose information on Physical dependenceAND (carcinogenicity)}} Carcinogenicity information on Physical dependenceAND (pregnancy)}} Physical dependence in pregnancyAND (pharmacokinetics)}} Pharmacokinetics of Physical dependence


| group9 = Genetics, Pharmacogenomics, and Proteinomics of Physical dependence | list9 = AND (pharmacogenomics)}} Genetics of Physical dependenceAND (pharmacogenomics)}} Pharmacogenomics of Physical dependenceAND (proteomics)}} Proteomics of Physical dependence


| group10 = Newstories on Physical dependence | list10 = Physical dependence in the newsBe alerted to news on Physical dependenceNews trends on Physical dependence


| group11 = Commentary on Physical dependence | list11 = Blogs on Physical dependence

| group12 = Patient Resources on Physical dependence | list12 = Patient resources on Physical dependenceDiscussion groups on Physical dependencePatient Handouts on Physical dependenceDirections to Hospitals Treating Physical dependenceRisk calculators and risk factors for Physical dependence


| group13 = Healthcare Provider Resources on Physical dependence | list13 = Symptoms of Physical dependenceCauses & Risk Factors for Physical dependenceDiagnostic studies for Physical dependenceTreatment of Physical dependence

| group14 = Continuing Medical Education (CME) Programs on Physical dependence | list14 = CME Programs on Physical dependence

| group15 = International Resources on Physical dependence | list15 = Physical dependence en EspanolPhysical dependence en Francais

| group16 = Business Resources on Physical dependence | list16 = Physical dependence in the MarketplacePatents on Physical dependence

| group17 = Informatics Resources on Physical dependence | list17 = List of terms related to Physical dependence


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