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Obviously, one of the first major roadblocks drug addicts have to face during rehabilitation is withdrawal, a painful process in which drugs are purged from the user’s body. As a result, the victims may experience a variety of symptoms ranging from night sweats to insomnia and from minor nausea to frightening hallucinations. However, if a person undergoes withdrawal, does that necessarily mean he or she is an addict? In the midst of an opioid epidemic, this may be an ideal question to ask, since opioids can induce severe forms of dependency. So, how do you know when your monitored drug use has spawned a severe mental problem? Let’s take a closer look and see if a person who is suffering from withdrawal qualifies as an addict.

Quitting Cold Turkey

In an article for the Washington Post, one patient named Nicole recalls her problems with opioids. After suffering from a pinched spinal nerve and ensuing chronic pain, she received a prescription for potent opioids that seemed to work for a while. Then, after she decided she didn’t need the drugs anymore, Nicole endured a traumatic case of withdrawal (which she compared to the most severe hangover a person could physically handle).

Ultimately, this scenario would lead people to think they have somehow become drug addicts. After all, don’t withdrawal and addiction go hand-in-hand? While this is certainly true, medical professionals emphasize that people who undergo this painful process are not addicted to a drug. After all, non-addictive medications (like blood pressure drugs) can cause forms of chemical dependency.

Telling the Difference

However, if you were to take a look at the definition for “addiction” in the DSM-IV (a guide used to diagnose mental illnesses), you would notice that professionals refer to this condition as “substance dependence.” Obviously, this would add to the confusion. Chemical dependency refers to a condition where a human cannot properly function without a drug (not necessarily addiction).

Even more perplexing, drugs like crack cocaine do not induce physical withdrawal (which we are most familiar with) and, instead, cause a form of psychological withdrawal. While this drug might not instigate common symptoms of detox, crack cocaine is still highly addictive.

Just keep in mind that withdrawal and addiction are not identical, to avoid further confusion.

Seeking Treatment for Drug Abuse or Addiction

Always remember that alcohol does not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.

The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol abuse or addiction troubles today.