Physical dependence

What is physical dependence?

Physical dependence is a physiological state in which the body relies on a substance to function normally. Abrupt cessation or reduction of the substance can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Physical dependence can occur with regular use of a substance and does not necessarily indicate addiction.


Physical dependence is a common feature of opioid use, even when taken as prescribed. In the context of OUD treatment, addressing physical dependence is a key component of the recovery process, and medications used in MAT can help manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce physical dependence on opioids.

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