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What is physical dependence?

Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine
Physical dependence is the process through which the body becomes accustomed to a psychoactive drug or rewarding behavior and "misses it" if it's taken away. People with physical dependence who stop or cut down the use of their substance or activity of choice might develop uncomfortable and characteristic withdrawal symptoms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.