A few months ago, a physician and good friend, Dr. Jennifer Schneider, called me out for inadvertently conflating physical dependence with addiction. What I have realized since then is many (maybe most) clinicians, not to mention the general public, have little to no idea that physical dependence and substance addiction are not synonymous. Hence, this article.

Physical dependence is a property (a side effect, so to speak) of certain drugs. Physical dependence occurs because your body...
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