There’s a misconception that to overcome your addiction, you need to get through the physical dependence. The reality of this situation is that if you want to experience long-term recovery, it’s much more than that. The primary reasons people relapse is because they don’t know how to manage life in any other way than using substances. When you go through a treatment program, you’ll learn how to break through the psychological dependence that fuels your addiction.
What is a Psychological Dependence?
Humans are creatures that live and survive based on a concept known as reward-based learning, which drives our behaviors. Your addiction most likely started with social or experimental use, but it progressed to a point where you couldn’t control it. This happens because as you continue to abuse substances, you’re rewiring the reward pathways in your brain. The brain associates various situations in your life with drinking or using drugs, and that’s the primary issue.
While this type of learning is crucial for our survival, when we have toxic behaviors like drinking or using, it can be our downfall. The way habits and addictions that form are due to a trigger, a behavior, and a reward. When you keep having the same trigger lead to the same behavior, your brain associates that stimuli with drinking or using. This turns into an overwhelming craving that you impulsively act upon, which leads to your substance use. In treatment, you’re going to learn how to identify your triggers and find new options to cope. Some of the most common triggers include:
Can You Have a Psychological Dependence to Marijuana?
One of the biggest myths out there is that marijuana is a non-addictive substance, but this isn’t true at all. If you think about it, people are addicted to things like food and gambling, so why would marijuana be any different? This is why people believe marijuana use in teens can’t lead to an addiction, but it can due to the way dependence works. When someone continues using marijuana as a way to deal with various triggers, you begin needing marijuana just to cope.
Behavioral Modification Therapy for Psychological Dependence
To have the best chances of overcoming your addiction for good, you need the help of addiction treatment programs. Here, you’ll work with trained professionals who can help you break the cycle of drinking or using drugs. The way it works is through an evidence-based form of therapy called behavioral modification. Trained professionals will help you learn how to rewire your brain so you’ll turn to healthy behaviors when you experience triggers. Over time, your cravings decrease, and you begin living a much better life.
Zelus Recovery is an addiction treatment program for young people in the Boise area, and we’re here to help. Some of the areas we specialize in include:
- Teen drug abuse
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
To learn more about psychological dependence and how we can help, call Zelus Recovery today at 208.518.0797.