Drug dependence is a state arising from repeated, periodic or continuous administration of a drug, that results in harm to the individual and sometimes to society,The subject feels a desire, need or compulsion to continue using the drug and feels ill if abruptly deprived of it (abstinence or withdrawal syndrome).

For discussion of abrupt withdrawal of drugs in general see page 119. Drug dependence is characterised by:

• Psychological dependence: the first to appear; there is emotional distress if the drug is withdrawn.

• Physical dependence: accompanies psychological dependence in some cases; there is a physical illness if the drug is withdrawn.

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