Opiate Addiction Is Different from Other Addictions: Physical Dependence

Addiction to opiates, such as heroin and pain killer medications, are more complex than addiction to other substances. Other substances do not cause intense physical withdrawal symptoms from abrupt cessation of the substance. People who suffer from opiate addiction face a multi-layered challenge in recovery, where those suffering from other addictions have to deal primarily with psychological dependence.

Discussion Guide:

What is the difference between psychological and physical dependence?

Can you identify which substances you were psychologically dependent upon, and which you felt physically dependent upon?

How long of a period did you use opiates before you became physically dependent upon them?

Once you overcome a physical dependence upon opiates, is it tempting to switch up to a difference substance that is less physically risky?

There is one reason why a person does not abuse substances: they don’t have to. A user takes drugs because they feel they have a reason to. They have a psychological void to fill. Is that true of you? What was the nature of your void?

Supplemental Reading:

Credit and appreciation is given to author, Jason M. S. for his articles Why Heroin Addiction Is Unlike Other Drug Addictions and Opiates Go Deep.  However, his identification is withheld for purposes of confidentiality.