What Is Chemical Dependency

What Is Chemical Dependency?

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Chemical dependency is often used interchangeably with other terms such as addiction, substance abuse or drug habit.

Chemical dependency refers to a person's inability to stop using substances upon which they've become dependent without suffering certain physical and mental side effects. When someone is chemically dependent upon a substance, they have lost their ability to stop using these substances without going into withdrawal.1 Their bodies and minds have become dependent upon the presence of the substance in order to function normally, and withholding the substance causes the body to react in negative ways. For successful removal of toxins from the body, someone who is chemically dependent upon a drug needs to undergo a managed detoxification program.

Treatment Is Necessary To Overcome Chemical Dependency

Chemical dependency is a disease that cannot be cured, but it can be treated and kept in remission. Simply ceasing to take drugs that have become a part of everyday living is not enough to turn one's life around and remain abstinent.

In order to recover from chemical dependency, most people need to undergo treatment at a detox facility or addiction treatment center. A recovery program such as LifeSync is a treatment facility where physicians and caring staff give personalized attention to patients in a modern atmosphere while they break their chemical dependency.

Symptoms of Chemical Dependency

Some of the more common signs that someone has become chemically dependent upon substances include a variety of signals. Not all people show symptoms of substance addiction in the same way, but the more common signs include the following:

  • Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Becoming preoccupied with the drug being used
  • Regularly getting high
  • Poor performance at work or school
  • Feeling depressed or suicidal
  • Engaging in risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex or driving under the influence
  • Spending increasing amounts of money to obtain the drug
  • Craving the substance when it's not available
  • Letting close relationships deteriorate because of drug use
  • Feeling a loss of control regarding drug use

Treatment Approaches

One method of therapeutic treatment that recovery treatment centers use to treat chemical dependency is group therapy sessions.2 Interacting in a group within an inpatient recovery center has a multitude of rewards, such as decreasing solitude and being able to witness others’ recovery, which enables hope. Understanding the reasons for becoming dependent upon substances can also be a result of therapy, as well as learning how to avoid relapse once recovery has been achieved.

Having medical professionals on hand is very important for leading group and individual therapy sessions. Medical doctors are also indispensable for treatment, as medications are often necessary to help with detox and withdrawal symptoms associated with substance abuse.

Undergoing detox can be uncomfortable and dangerous, which is why a professionally trained staff is so important in a substance abuse recovery center. Being in a pleasant and safe environment while undergoing recovery can increase success rates as a person begins their new life in sobriety.


  1. http://www.draonline.org/chemical_dependency.html
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64223/