Is Being Physically Dependent Dangerous?

physical dependence

Physical dependence is a severe medical condition in which the body adapts to certain drugs and needs them more to attain specific effects. It may sound normal, but trust me it is not. It can cause harmful mental and physical effects on withdrawal of the drugs. 

Physical dependence and addiction vary from each other, but it can often overlap with one another. But what does physical dependence mean? Here is an article with all you need to know about physical dependence. 

What is Physical Dependence?

So, what exactly is physical dependence?  It is a condition where individuals cannot resist themselves to take drugs over time. If the dosage of the drugs is stopped or consumed in less amount, some obnoxious symptoms might occur. A person with a history of excessive alcohol consumption or smoking can also become physically dependent. During such conditions, it becomes tough for the person to carry out the basic functions. 

Causes of Physical Dependence

Now that you know the physical dependence definition; let’s have a look at the causes of physical dependence. 

Do you know how someone becomes physically dependent? Physical dependence begins with tolerance. This occurs when the body has adapted to a specific amount of substance and requires a higher dosage to feel the same effects as before.

People who are used to consuming a higher amount of drugs and alcohol are more likely to become tolerant and dependent. 

Just as prescription drugs, some substances contain a higher risk of physical dependence. Some of the substances that may lead to physically dependent are:

  • Opioids
  • Gabapentin
  • Methamphetamines
  • Alcohol

The consistent usage of these drugs is very dangerous as they can lead to physical and psychological symptoms. 

Signs and symptoms of Physical Dependence

After knowing about physical dependence, you must know what the signs of physical dependence are.. Depression symptoms are the most common in the patient.

Those who are a consistent user of drugs for a long time are more likely to see intense withdrawal symptoms. Some of the major symptoms include:


Signs of Depression is the most common symptom of a physical dependence condition. The patient continuously feels a mental breakdown when they are depressed. The victim looks at every viewpoint with a doubtful prospect that may be problematic for the person who desires speedy recovery.

Anger issues

Depression symptoms can also lead to anger issues. The outbreak of anger is another symptom for those who are suffering from physical dependence. The anger outbursts when the person is feeling incompetent and frustrated. There are several treatments for evolving out of such conditions.

Lack of Sleep

Lack of sleep or insomnia is the most common symptom that is found in a physically dependent person. Sleep is the most indispensable part of our life; therefore, lack of sleep may cause severe issues to your health.

Trembling and Seizures

Trembling means unconstrained shaking in your body. Seizures are the unrestrained actions that are caused due to the intrusion in the patient’s brain wave pattern.

Sweating and Teary-eyes

A physically dependent person is more likely to have bad and stinking perspiration. Also, his eyes might seem teary and red all the time.

Mental breakdown and signs of depression are quite common among the physically dependent person. Though, by understanding the meaning of physical dependence, you can make its comparison with addiction as well. 

Behavioral Pattern in Individuals with Physical Dependence

The behavioral pattern of a physically dependent person is complicated. Here are a few characteristics of the behavioral pattern of a physically dependent person. A person might feel control reduction, craving, extreme pain in such conditions. However, there are some more common patterns of behavior:

  • Isolation ( need to live alone)
  • Taking excessing dosage at a time
  • Using the psychoactive drugs (non-prescribed)
  • Continuous stolen or missing drug report
  • Using medication just to boost the energy level and reduce the anxiety level. 
  • Lack of interest or avoidance of non-opioid treatments
  • Requesting certain formulations of the drug
  • Shopping from doctors ( Purchasing the drug from multiple doctors)
  • Not sticking firmly to the prescribed drug schedule


What should you do for rehabilitation? For the treatment of a physically dependent person, what can you do? A person who has depression symptoms or a similar behavioral pattern and characteristics should go for the addiction therapy programs. 

The addiction therapy programs are very helpful in the recovery of the patient. There are many rehabilitation centers where you can get proper medications and help. 

With all the knowledgeable and worthwhile tools, you can contribute something to society and patient’s health by spreading awareness. Taking the therapy programs is essential in such conditions to deal with the physical dependence condition. Ensure that you do not risk your life with the excessive usage and consumption of drugs and alcohol.

Physiological dependence

Physiological dependence is the same as physical dependence. However, in physiological dependence, emotional-motivation withdrawal symptoms are seen. The patient may feel anxious about drug usage. Anhedonia is common in Physiological conditions. 

Psychological Dependence vs. Physical Dependence

Does psychological dependence differ from physical dependence? Physical dependence influences your body, whereas psychological dependence attacks your behavior (Source). Some of the psychological dependence symptoms are:

  • Drug usage obsession
  • Incapable of quitting alcohol and drugs
  • Using substances to cope up with the problem
  • Taking excessive alcohol and drugs 

Physical dependence also happens with beta-blockers, corticosteroids, antidepressants, along with other medications that are not considered addictive. 

Final words

Being physically dependent is dangerous as it can lead to severe symptoms such as memory loss, mood swings, and even depression. Physical dependence usually happens due to chronic use of prescribed drugs. It is clearly evident when individuals develop resistance to a drug. It is also evident when someone tries to stop the usage of a specific drug. In the case of physical dependence, it is better to seek medical help immediately. Let us know how helpful you find this article in the comment section below.