When taking drugs or alcohol continuously for a prolonged period of time, your body may develop a physiological and/or psychological dependence on the substance. Physiological dependence is when your body has started to rely on the substance in order for it to feel normal and function. Psychological dependence is when you think that you need the substance in order to function. You might be thinking that taking the substance will enable you to work better or socialize with others at a party.
Withdrawal is the set of physical and mental effects a person experiences after they reduce or stop taking a substance such as recreational drugs. These effects are a result of your body trying to reach a new state of homeostasis after the sudden absence of the substance from your body. The intensity and duration of a person’s withdrawal symptoms can vary, depending on several factors:
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