Dr. David Friedman explains it all.
Dr. David Friedman, a professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, is also the co-founder and director of the Addiction Studies Program, a workshop for science journalists in Washington, D. C., funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Sometimes it helps to step back and attempt to make the scientific case for addictive disorders as simply as we are able. Herewith, some highlights from Dr. Friedman’s useful presentation at the recent Addiction Studies Program workshop. Slides reproduced with Dr. Friedman’s kind permission. The comments adjacent to the slides are my own, as are any errors of fact or interpretation.
Again, a crucial distinction must be made between a state of physical dependence (at right) and a state of withdrawal (below). Non-addicts can become physical dependent on a variety of prescription medications. Such physical dependence precedes a full-blown state of addiction, but is not to be confused with addiction itself.
The net result of all this? Things happen at the biochemical level that change how things play out at the behavioral level.
Photo Credit: http://www.wakehealth.edu/