No, there is not a difference.
I am a drug addict in recovery, almost 8 years now. I also suffer from chronic back pain that is, at time, almost crippling. I have struggled, with my doctor, to find a pain regimen that works for me that is the least amount of pain med possible. I have been on tramadol for 5 years now.
Dependence vs addiction? you can say there is a difference all day long but I assure you, those are only words. Dependence and addiction are one and the same.
I tried to take myself of of tramadol a year ago. I had convinced myself that I didn't need it. I went through 7 days of hell from the withdrawal, despite having a husband that is a drug/alcohol counselor who detoxed me with a small amount of benzo as is done inpatient. It was also apparent after 2 weeks that I had no choice but to take something for the pain as I could not stand up straight.
So am I dependent on the drug? Yes. As a result of taking it 3 times a day, am I also addicted...yes again. I don't know if I have addictive behaviors because I am so scarred to not have the drug due to the pain or my disease. But really, what does it matter in the end?
You can call it whatever you want but they are one an the same, IMO.