Posted by yxibow on February 10, 2009, at 7:33:41
In reply to Re: How often can Ambien be taken?? » yxibow, posted by SLS on February 10, 2009, at 6:36:33
> Would you say that there is a difference between "habituation" and "tolerance"? Is tolerance part of habituation? Is there a psychological dependence with habituation. Cravings?
> - Scott
Its all within how one personally, semantically, describes the words tolerance, habituation, and addiction.
Some people use all three interchangeably which I personally believe are not, although they can occur at the same time.
One could say that tolerance is the end result of the process of habituation, I suppose.... or is habituation a form of tolerance ?
"Craving" I view differently because it implies that there is a non-therapeutic desire for a substance, which I guess would fall into the realm of "addiction", which I think is a more purposeless use of a substance, legal or otherwise outside of a care plan.
But that isn't to place a "sin" concept on addiction by any means -- though substances of addiction may be considered by the most conservative views as vice, I view quite differently.
That would place the onus entirely on the individual who may not be able to stop an addiction alone (don't get me started on how we treat people who use hardcore street drugs).
And there are other things, I mean one can have "cravings" for cakes and cookies at night.
As for the psychological component, I think there could be a bit involved in habituation/tolerance but I think that is more of a chemical and transmitter overload process than the psychological reasons people become addicted to substances or "crave" them. Even coffee cravings, nicotine cravings especially, etc.
And then as I said, people can become "addicted" to a prescribed substance, especially one with a higher amount of PRN use (e.g. benzodiazepines) by increasing considerably the amount used in a manner not quite as prescribed.
I suppose even people can forge a prescription of what they are taking because they have "cravings". But I'm not here to create scenarios of "illegal activity", that was just an example.
And then there's the opposite -- some people, for example, who become addicted to meth actually are using the substance because instead of placing them in orbit it calms them. Hence, when control over this is realized, often patients take legal forms of stimulants because they do have ADD/ADHD, etc.
I ramble... but its one way of looking at things anyhow.