Commonalities and differences across substance use disorders: phenomenological and epidemiological aspects PMC

compare and contrast psychological dependence on alcohol and physiological dependence on alcohol

Alcohol abuse was defined as a condition in which a person continues to drink despite recurrent social, interpersonal, health, or legal problems as a result of their alcohol use. A person who abuses alcohol may also be dependent on alcohol, but they may also be able to stop drinking without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Specifically, past studies found that gender differences in alcohol use may reflect the greater social stigma directed at women who drink. Caetano and Clark (1999), for example, found stronger gender norms related to alcohol use in Latino cultures compared with the United States (Kulis et al. 2012).

Social and Cultural Contexts of Alcohol Use

compare and contrast psychological dependence on alcohol and physiological dependence on alcohol

Distinguishing between these concepts is essential in recommending the right treatments. Sometimes, severe withdrawal symptoms require monitoring from doctors in a hospital setting. It occurs when a person has difficulty stopping substance use or engaging in a behavior that provides some type of benefit. The involvement of these reward and habit neurocircuits helps explain the intense desire for the substance (craving) and the compulsive substance seeking that occurs when actively or previously addicted individuals are exposed to alcohol and/or drug cues in their surroundings. Although medical detox from alcohol dependency will help you navigate the withdrawal process safely, ongoing treatment and support may be necessary to maintain sobriety after detox.

5 Substance Use and Abuse

ACTH is carried via the blood stream to the adrenal glands (which are located atop the kidneys), where it induces the release of stress hormones (i.e., glucocorticoids) that then act on target cells and tissues throughout the body (including the brain). The main glucocorticoid in humans and other primates is cortisol; the main glucocorticoid in rodents is corticosterone. Community, cultural, and behavioral influences are also factors that increase the risk of developing AUD, as do high stress levels and anxiety, the low cost of alcohol, and how easy it is to buy.

4.1. Family history

compare and contrast psychological dependence on alcohol and physiological dependence on alcohol

In conclusion, through focusing on four areas of SUD phenomenology and epidemiology, we elucidated commonalities and differences across substances. Overall commonalities in the psychometric properties of the criteria sets and diagnoses justify the use of generic diagnostic criteria across substances, as long as specificity is allowed for withdrawal. Having consistent criteria for all SUDs is simpler for clinicians and researchers than different, substance-specific criteria.

  • Harmful and dependent drinkers are much more likely to be frequent accident and emergency department attenders, attending on average five times per annum.
  • The idea that a particular ‘addictive personality’ leads to the development of alcohol dependence is popular with some addiction counsellors, but does not have strong support from research.
  • These individual differences affect drinking behaviour and the potential for alcohol-related harm and alcohol dependence.
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse further explains that physical dependence on alcohol is a factor of addiction, but not addiction itself.
  • Little DIF testing was done for craving (all substances), tobacco abuse, or cannabis withdrawal, new in DSM-5, and warranting further study.

For example, concern is growing that increasing use of marijuana extracts with extremely high amounts of THC could lead to higher rates of addiction among marijuana users. Concerns also are emerging about how new products about which little is known, such as synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones, affect the brain. Additional research is needed to better understand how such products – as well physiological dependence on alcohol as emerging addictive substances – affect brain function and behavior, and contribute to addiction. Continued research is necessary to more thoroughly explain how substance use affects the brain at the molecular, cellular, and circuit levels. Such research has the potential to identify common neurobiological mechanisms underlying substance use disorders, as well as other related mental disorders.

compare and contrast psychological dependence on alcohol and physiological dependence on alcohol

  • However, the National Audit Office (2008) reported that the spending on specialist alcohol services by Primary Care Trusts was not based on a clear understanding of the level of need in different parts of England.
  • These costs include expenditures on alcohol-related problems and opportunities that are lost because of alcohol (NIAAA, 1991).
  • During the 1980s, many drug laws were rewritten to punish crack users more severely than cocaine users.

Differential Item Functioning (DIF)

compare and contrast psychological dependence on alcohol and physiological dependence on alcohol

Immigration-Related Influences

  • The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines a standard drink as one 12-ounce bottle of beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.
  • This stage heavily involves the basal ganglia (Figure 2.4) and its two key brain sub-regions, the nucleus accumbens and the dorsal striatum.
  • Alcohol and tobacco also showed DIF by age or race/ethnicity for difficulty quitting or controlling use.
  • Both acute and chronic heavy drinking can contribute to a wide range of social problems including domestic violence and marital breakdown, child abuse and neglect, absenteeism and job loss (Drummond, 1990; Head et al., 2002; Velleman & Orford, 1999).
  • If you think you might have an alcohol problem, discuss it with a healthcare provider.
  • This research is expected to reveal new neurobiological targets, leading to new medications and non-pharmacological treatments—such as transcranial magnetic stimulation or vaccines—for the treatment of substance use disorders.

Societal Influences: Advertising, Marketing, and Social Media

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