For many people who struggle with substance abuse problems, the most difficult step toward recovery is the first one: admitting that you have a problem and deciding that you want to make a change. If you’re worried about your dependency on drugs and want to make some positive changes, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn more about what drug dependence is and how to help alleviate dependency on drugs. 

What is Drug Dependence?

Drug dependence occurs when an individual needs one or more drugs to function. According to the American Psychiatric Association, drug dependence is a more severe issue than drug abuse. 

Dependence can be a bodily response to a substance, which often occurs if the individual relies on medications to control a chronic medical condition. These conditions may include: 

  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Glaucoma 

Drug dependence may involve: 

  • Physical symptoms of withdrawal when you attempt to stop using the drug
  • Some or multiple symptoms of addiction
  • Developing a high tolerance for the substance as your body adapts to the drug, creates a desire for larger and/or more frequent doses. 

The symptoms of drug dependence include: 

  • Anxiety – Depression
  • Body Aches – Muscle Weakness
  • Nightmares – Sweating
  • Nausea – Vomiting

Things to Consider Before You Begin

If you are planning to work towards reducing your dependency on drugs, don’t be scared to ask for help. Having help and support from others makes the process much easier. This may include: 

  • Talking to friends or family about your drug use and asking them for help. 
  • Talk to your doctor about your concerns. Your doctor will be able to give you helpful advice and useful resources to help you during this time. 
  • Attend a support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous. 

5 Ways to Reduce Dependency on Drugs

Once you have made your decision to reduce your dependency on drugs, try using the following steps to address the issue: 

  1. Take your time. Gradual reduction is often the most effective way to quit. 
  2. Keep a drug diary. Keep track of when you use, what you take, and how much. You may also want to include your location, who you were with, and what you had been doing just before. See if you can spot any patterns in your drug diary. For example, you may always use it around certain people, or after a night of heavy drinking. 
  3. If you experience cravings, try distracting yourself until the craving passes. Some great distractions for this process include mindfulness or meditation apps, as well as watching videos. 
  4. Remember to be kind to yourself. This is not an easy process to go through. Celebrate each step that you reach towards your goal, regardless of how small it may seem. If you experience a setback, don’t feel guilty. It’s a challenging process and every step or setback is an opportunity to learn more about yourself. 
  5. Consider going to a drug treatment program. There are several options for those who are looking to overcome their substance abuse problems. This includes residential treatment, outpatient treatment, day treatment/partial hospitalization, and sober living communities. Talk to your doctor about what option might be right for you. 

Contact Palmetto Addiction Recovery Center Today

Addiction recovery at a professional treatment facility can provide you with the support that you would not have at home. With a professional team, you can get help to manage your withdrawal symptoms, as well as manage your mental health symptoms.

Here at Palmetto Addiction Recovery Centers, our team of professionals understands that recovery is unique to everyone and will work with you to create a treatment plan that works best for you. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorders, treatment professionals are standing by to help with a variety of treatment options. Call (318) 728-2970 or visit Palmetto Addiction Recovery Centers Today.