River Ridge Recovery

Dependency vs. Addiction: What’s the Difference?

Dependency vs. Addiction: What’s the Difference?

It is common to find the terms “dependency” and “addiction” used interchangeably. This is often because being told you are dependent on a drug sounds less harsh in comparison to being addicted to a drug. However, dependency and addiction are two different things. Here is why:


If someone heavily uses a specific drug, they will likely develop a physical dependence on the drug. This is dependency—when your body has acclimated to the feeling of a drug inside of you. If you stop the drug suddenly, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms. The user has developed a physical reliance to a chemical substance, causing loss of physical and psychological control. The dependency only advances to an addiction when the user begins engaging in negative behaviors because of these drug cravings.


Substance use becomes the main priority of the addict, regardless of the harm they may cause to themselves or others. They begin to act irrationally when the substance is not in their system. Stealing the drugs from friends, committing theft, or committing any other felony is considered an action of an addict. You can certainly have physical withdrawal symptoms associated with dependency, but it is not the root of the issue as is with addiction.

Chemical Dependency Treatment in Minneapolis

If you or a loved one is seeking chemical dependency treatment in Minneapolis, contact River Ridge as soon as possible. Our caring treatment center can provide the necessary therapy you need to overcome the dependency and prevent it from developing into an addiction. Help is available—for more information on addiction and chemical dependency treatment in Minneapolis, call us now at 952-894-7722.

Upcoming Events

April 2022

Legacy Meetings - River Ridge Recovery Alumni

Every Wednesday

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

4555 Erin Dr Suite 100, Lower Level Eagan, MN 55122

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4555 Erin Drive, Eagan, MN 55122 Upper Level Entrance, Suite 200


4205 Lancaster Lane N, Suite 101 Plymouth, MN 55441




Fax: 952-894-0882