What is dependence?

Dependence refers to the physiological adaptation of the body to the presence of a substance, leading to the development of withdrawal symptoms when the substance is discontinued. Dependence can occur with both prescription medications and illicit substances, and it is important to distinguish it from addiction, which is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and loss of control over use.

Historical context

Dependence has been a focus of addiction treatment for many years, as it can contribute to the cycle of substance use and make recovery more challenging. With the rise of the opioid epidemic, understanding and addressing dependence has become increasingly important to improve treatment outcomes and support long-term recovery.

← Back to glossary home

Treatment that works is right at your fingertips.

Get started