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Is there a difference between craving and addiction?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by gustbaiderment, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. It used to be to my understanding that they were one in the same. Like I used to figure a drug addicted CRAVED drugs. But that's just my assumption, so I'm asking for something more in the line of fact.
  2. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    I believe craving is usually the result of a previously existing addiction.

    There are times when someone may feel the need to try a drug, but has never done drugs before. If this is the case, I wouldn't call it craving, but temptation to try it.
  3. tarverten

    tarverten Senior Contributor

    Yeah. People crave cigarettes but they think they are addicted because they have no real motivation to stop.
    I'm an ex heavy smoker who stopped in a fit of temper and had no withdrawal symptoms at all.
    two or three times since I have been on holiday and been a heavy smoker for a week and stopped as I got on the train to come home.
  4. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear Senior Contributor

    yes there is a difference a craving is when you really want something but the craving goes away when you get it .
    an addiction is when you need something like a fix but the n that addiction doesn't go away.
  5. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think there is a difference between the two. The craving is usually used to describe that you are wanting something for a moment or certain period of time. While addiction is used to described wanting something in strong urge and in excessive amount.
  6. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature Senior Contributor

    To crave is to strongly long for or to desire eargerly for something at the mean time.

    To be addicted is to constantly indulge yourself in something and it is a habitual or compulsive involvement in an activity
  7. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay Senior Contributor

    Craving = wanting
    Addiction = needing.

    When you crave something your mind can be destracted from the object when you don't get it. But to have an addiction is an all consuming desire that can not be assuaged, only diminished when you get the object of your desire.
  8. Totalarmordestine

    Totalarmordestine Senior Contributor

    Cravings usually disappear after you get your fill... addictions... don't.


    I can see how you can think they're the same. But for the most part, and addiction can be considered a very, VERY advanced form of craving.
  9. SarahWorksAtHome

    SarahWorksAtHome Community Champion

    Totally my thoughts exactly.
    For instance, I crave candy. Once I have it, I'm fine for quite awhile. Or I can deal with the craving and not cave into it, with it being only an annoyance not a deep affecting issue. However, I want a cigarette. Once I have one, I need another in an hour. I cannot deal with the craving for one and will even feel sick.
  10. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    I do think that craving and addiction are two opposite things but they are inter-connected. A person can crave but isn't necessarily an addict. When the cravings are not controlled well, it results to addiction. It can start with just a single craving and subsequently turn into a "need" just like what @thepieeatingjay said. Once the craving becomes an addiction, it is becomes harder to control it.
  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    There's definitely a difference. It's like the difference between you wanting something and needing something.

    If you have an addiction you feel like you can't live without that certain things in your life. It rules your life, your constantly thinking about your need and what might happen without out it.
  12. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I think yes, there is a fine line between a craving and an addiction. As for me, craving is more of an intense want for something but only for temporary. Once your craving is satisfied, you are already fine. On the other hand, addiction is the extreme form of wanting for something but it is more of a permanent thing.
  13. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Cravings and addictions are closely related but they are not quite the same thing. For example, pregnant women often crave certain foods - that doesn't mean they are addicted. Once the craving is satisfied, they may no longer want that food any more and once their pregnancy is over, the craving will go away. Addiction is so much more. When addicted to something, not only do you crave it but you also feel that you need it and that you will suffer if you are made to go without.
  14. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    A craving is but a strong desire to have something. It could be anything, not just drugs.

    An addiction on the other hand is a disorder/disease. You get a strong urge [one that is impossible to resist] to use a drug or engage in an activity which you might well know isn't good for you.

    The main difference between cravings and addictions is with the former you can resist it but addictions are entirely different — you just can't stop yourself.
  15. deewanna

    deewanna Senior Contributor

    There is definitely a difference between craving and addiction.
    When someone craves something, the person would be distracted from whatever he or she is doing, the person's mind would be on the craving. But when a person is suffering from an addiction, it is an all consuming desire to have something. And the only thing that would calm the person is to get that thing.
    In my opinion cravings can be controlled, addiction is difficult to control.
  16. rcdpink

    rcdpink Active Contributor

    Indeed, a drug addict craves drugs. It does not necessarily mean however that a craving and an addiction are the same thing. I have cravings for many different things in life, however I am NOT addicted to many of these things that I crave. So a craving then represents that desire that is overwhelming, but an addiction shows that we have already yielded to the cravings and it's a case where we are finding it very difficult to let go.
  17. lash530

    lash530 Member

    to simplify......
    withdrawal is associated with addiction , not craving alone
    Onceaddicted77 likes this.
  18. lash530

    lash530 Member

  19. lash530

    lash530 Member

    it's not a desire,, it's a need,,, to the point of it being a physical need as the body has become dependent too
    Onceaddicted77 likes this.
  20. cheffy

    cheffy Community Champion

    To me, Addiction is a disease. And craving is a symptom of the disease. Drugs, cutting, or whatever floats your boat are the disease manifest.
    Joshstillclean likes this.