Psychological Dependence On Alcohol

On another note, changes to one’s lifestyle may be enough to deal with or reduce anxiety in some cases – especially mild ones. One of the most common experiences during a hangover is paranoia feelings that something bad must have happened because of how bad one feels.

Dependence refers to the process by which your mind and body come to depend on a substance so you keep feeling a certain way. This tends to result in withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the substance. For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the helpline is a private and convenient solution. Our writers and reviewers are experienced professionals in medicine, addiction treatment, and healthcare. AddictionResource fact-checks all the information before publishing and uses only credible and trusted sources when citing any medical data. The Verified badge on our articles is a trusted sign of the most comprehensive scientifically-based medical content.

  • Typically, people become dependent on something because its ingestion becomes associated with the alleviation of mental duress.
  • Depending on the amount and duration of drinking and any symptoms, detoxification (often simply called “detox”) from alcohol can be done as an outpatient, or as an inpatient in a hospital or drug treatment facility.
  • This addiction can dominate all areas of life in a detrimental way, yet the affected person is unable to control or easily quit using alcohol.
  • Another notable difference is that most stimulant users will go through psychological withdrawal, rather than a physical one when they cease to use drugs.
  • In common cases, the system is used by judges to help them determine sentences for drug-related crimes.
  • A doctor or substance abuse expert may be able to help a person look at the consequences of drinking.

Addictions manifest themselves as uncontrollable cravings to use drugs, despite doing harm to oneself or others. Teens and adults with mental disorders are more likely to develop substance abuse patterns than the general population. When a person succumbs to the grip of an addiction, it is extremely difficult to quit on their own.

Recognizing And Understanding Addiction

Another notable difference is that most stimulant users will go through psychological withdrawal, rather than a physical one when they cease to use drugs. What this means, is that they will usually experience cravings and strong desires to use again.

When you begin using drugs, your initial euphoric feelings are tied into the places and situations in which you use them. However, they can be very upsetting, and may even lead you back down the road to relapse.

psychological dependence on alcohol

These symptoms occur due to changes in the brain and central nervous system, which are a result of chronic substance abuse. Addiction, on the other hand, is a behavioral syndrome characterized by the compulsive and repeated seeking out or usage of a drug in spite of negative physical, psychological and/or social consequences. Along Alcohol abuse with this comes the physical need for more and more of a drug to get the desired high. With addiction often comes physical dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal syndrome. Many therapies for psychological addiction are usually offered in aftercare programs for patients who want ongoing treatment to maintain lifelong sobriety.

For example, if you are addicted to gambling, you’ll solely suffer from an intense psychological urge to gamble. If, on the other hand, you’re addicted psychological dependence on alcohol to a substance like a specific drug or type of spirit, you’ll usually first develop a psychological addiction and then a physical one.

Here Are Common Physical And Behavioral Addiction Types:

Understanding how a substance abuse problem develops helps to shed light on why they are so hard to beat. Learn about what addiction is, the signs to look out for and related topics below. In case we haven’t covered everything you wanted to know when it comes to physical addiction to alcohol, you are welcome to post your questions below. We guarantee that the answer you’ll receive will be personal delivered to you as soon as possible. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings, visit our homepage and browse by state, or visit SAMHSA. For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the helpline is a private and convenient solution.

We follow strict guidelines when fact-checking information and only use credible sources when citing statistics and medical information. Look for the medically reviewed badge on our articles for the most up-to-date and accurate information. Contact us at The Recovery Village to learn more about our treatment programs for substance use disorder. Our trained staff will help walk you through how you can get started on the road to recovery today and what to expect during your experience. Understanding both physical and psychological addiction, how they work and how they go hand-in-hand is important for treatment. offers an insightful explanation based on brain image studies from people addicted to drugs. The study found, physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical for judgment, decision making, learning, memory, and behavior control in addicted people.

psychological dependence on alcohol

It is very important to get treatment for such disorders if they are contributing to the problem. After detoxification, many people with alcohol disorders need some form of long-term support or counseling to remain sober.

Emotional Symptoms

But these may be easier for concerned family members and friends to ask, since they may hesitate to ask direct questions about quantity. Considered by some people to be a taboo subject, there is a far greater understanding of addiction among both laymen and professionals psychological dependence on alcohol nowadays. You’re suffering from an illness, and you need to get treatment for it as soon as you possibly can. It is true that your brain and your body will react very differently to stimulants, such as meth and cocaine than it will to depressants like heroin and alcohol.

psychological dependence on alcohol

When you stop using the substance, you experience physical symptoms of withdrawal. All of these risks are potentially fatal to the user, and the temporary stress relief that the substance may bring is a mild positive in comparison. A consequence of this behavior is an eventual increase psychological dependence on alcohol in the frequency and severity of angst symptoms. So while addiction to alcohol and anxiety attacks are a thing, it may be that people with anxiety disorders are more likely to drink. It’s common to sweep the thought of addiction under the carpet, and not to talk about it.

Symptoms Of Physical Addiction

The substance is used in larger amounts or over a longer time than the person originally intended. Many individuals with addictive disorders are aware of their problem, but have difficulty stopping on their own. For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC.

psychological dependence on alcohol

For anyone living with alcoholism or alcohol anxiety disorders, it is best to seek treatment from a certified healthcare professional as soon as possible. People living with depression or other related mental disorders are more likely to experience hangxiety than anyone else. This is because ethanol suppresses those feelings while they are “high,” and when the dopamine levels go back to normal, the rebound effect is far greater than it would be for a person with no mental health disorder. About 30% of people with alcohol use disorder are able to abstain from alcohol permanently without the help of formal treatment or a self-help program. Two of three people seeking treatment do reduce their intake and improve their overall health. Some people will go through periods where they remain sober, but then relapse. Depression and anxiety frequently occur along with an alcohol use disorder.


With repeated, consistent abuse, alcohol and drugs can alter functions in the brain and central nervous system, and go on to trigger physical dependence. An individual is physically addicted to drugs and alcohol when they require these substances to avoid cravings, nausea, and other withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol dependence is a problem that not only affects the alcoholic, but family members, friends and loved ones. It’s vital for the benefit of your health, personal life, and loved ones to seek treatment immediately.

In addition to the uncomfortable bodily changes associated with a hangover, withdrawal itself can cause anxiety, hallucinations, and panic attacks. Heavy drinkers can suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms after drinking, some of which can be life-threatening. These effects can also be dangerous for the people around the drinking individual. The resulting panic attacks and hallucinations can be terrible, and withdrawal seizures can be lethal. After weaning from alcohol, medication in some cases can help reduce cravings. Two medications that fit in this category are naltrexone and acamprosate. Disulfiram does not reduce craving, but it creates an incentive not to drink, because drinking alcohol while taking it causes nausea and vomiting.

Alcohol anxiety after a long night of drinking is more common than one would imagine. In the next two sections, we discuss the effects of hangover and withdrawal. provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products.

CBT helps patients identify and overcome negative behaviors and thought-processes driving their addiction. Families affected by addiction can learn more about causes and behaviors associated with addiction so they can help their loved ones achieve lasting sobriety. Group therapy allows patients to bond with others in recovery who share similar struggles with addiction, and to openly discuss their thoughts and emotions surrounding addiction. This addiction type involves the performance of dangerous high-risk activities such as having unprotected sex with strangers and driving while intoxicated.

Author: Timothy Legg

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