Addiction and dependence are related conditions that can affect anyone who uses drugs regularly. Understanding the difference between these terms is important, especially when it comes to prescription drugs or recreational substances.

In this blog post, we’ll learn what these terms mean, their causes, symptoms, consequences, and treatments. We’ll also explore how Magnolia Medical Group can assist us in overcoming addiction and dependence. By being informed about the difference between addiction and dependence, we can make better decisions about our healthcare options.

What is Addiction?

At Magnolia Medical Group, we understand how addiction can impact the brain and nervous system. It can create a desire for a substance or behavior that may harm oneself or others, and interfere with normal functioning, causing various problems. Our team of professionals can provide the guidance and support needed to overcome addiction, leading to a healthy and fulfilling life.

What is Dependence?

Dependence is when your body and mind rely on a substance for support, aid, or satisfaction, and it can be physical, psychological, or emotional. Luckily, substance dependence is treatable, and professional help at Magnolia Medical Group can provide the support and resources you need to overcome it.

Addiction vs. Dependence: When to Seek Treatment

Addiction and dependence are aspects of substance use disorders that can harm your health and relationships. Seeking professional help is important, and it’s crucial to understand the difference between addiction and dependence to determine the best course of treatment.

Common Substance Use Disorder Warning Signs

Substance use disorder harms the physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being of millions worldwide. Signs of addiction to look out for include:

  • Rationalization and projection: Making excuses for substance use or blaming others for problems is rationalization and projection. For instance, saying that drinking helps cope with stress or blaming the family for anger issues.
  • Mood swings and personality changes: They might experience sudden emotional shifts or act differently when under the influence. For example, they might become more aggressive, irritable, depressed, or anxious.
  • Deteriorating relationships: They might isolate themself from their friends and family or have frequent conflicts with them. They might lie, steal, or break promises to support their addiction.
  • Poor work performance: They might neglect responsibilities at school or work or show up late or impaired. They might also lose interest in their hobbies and goals.
  • Crisis of the spirit: They might feel hopeless, guilty, ashamed, or empty because of their addiction and lose touch with their values and beliefs.

Common Dependence Warning Signs

Dependence is when the body relies on a substance to function normally and can cause withdrawal symptoms when stopped or reduced. It can be physical or psychological and is a risk factor for developing an addiction.

  • Tolerance: This means needing more substance to get the same effect or feeling less effect from the same amount.
  • Withdrawal: Involves the experience of unpleasant physical or mental symptoms when stopping or reducing substance use. For example, one might feel nausea, headache, anxiety, or cravings.
  • Loss of control: This means having difficulty regulating how much or how often you use the substance. For example, you might use more than you intended or have trouble quitting.
  • Negative consequences: This means experiencing problems in your health, relationships, work, school, or finances because of your substance use. For example, you might have liver damage, lose friends, get fired, drop out of school, or go into debt.

If you notice signs of addiction or dependence, seek help from Magnolia Medical Group. We offer medical supervision and behavioral therapy to treat addiction and dependence. Don’t wait. Early intervention can increase your chances of recovery.

Drug Addiction vs. Drug Dependence: Treatment

Treatment options for addiction and dependence may overlap depending on the type and severity of substance use disorder and the individual’s needs and preferences. Some common treatment options that can address both addiction and dependence are:


Detoxification is a safe process that removes substances from the body, managing physical dependence symptoms like tolerance and withdrawal. It prepares the mind and body for addiction treatment and can be done with or without medication assistance in an inpatient or outpatient setting.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, combines medication and behavioral therapy that helps reduce cravings, prevent relapse, and restore normal brain function. MAT can help treat addiction and dependence. MAT can also help ease withdrawal symptoms during detoxification.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavior therapy is a type of counseling that helps identify and change unhealthy thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to substance use. You can benefit from behavioral therapy, which addresses the root causes of addiction, including emotional problems, stress, or trauma. This form of therapy also provides tools to manage physical dependence symptoms such as pain and discomfort.

Peer Support or Recovery Service Groups

These groups share similar experiences with substance use disorders and offer mutual support and guidance. Peer support or recovery service groups can help enhance motivation, coping skills, social support, and self-esteem and provide emotional support during detoxification or withdrawal.

Seek Addiction & Dependence Treatment in Denver and Regain Control Over Your Life

Addiction and dependence are two related conditions that can harm millions of people who use drugs or alcohol. Addiction involves compulsive substance use despite negative consequences, while dependence is a physical state with tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.

Hope and help are available through Magnolia Medical Group, a Denver-based outpatient addiction treatment center with medication-assisted treatment and substance abuse counseling. With professional care, you or your loved one can overcome addiction or dependence with compassion and respect.

Don’t let addiction or dependence control your life any longer. Contact Magnolia Medical Group today to start your recovery journey. You deserve a better life without addiction or dependence.

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2925 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80206

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(303) 209-5115

10160 W 50th Ave #4,
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

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(303) 209-5115

Magnolia Medical Group is licensed with the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health, for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment.

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