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What Does it Mean to be Chemically Dependent? | Narco Freedom Inc. - Drug Assistance in New York

Last updated 2 years ago

Chemical dependency occurs when a person relies on a drug to achieve a certain feeling or degree of functionality, which is threatened or unavailable whenever that individual ceases use. Understanding the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of chemical dependency is just one step toward achieving independence from substance abuse.


Several factors contribute to a person’s dependence on the effects of a drug. A number of behavioral and psychological conditions are characterized by symptoms that can be masked by substance abuse. A person who wishes to mask these symptoms may start abusing drugs at every chance he or she gets. Pressure or perceived pressure from others, the stress of one’s day-to-day life and environment, and a genetic tendency to addiction are other common contributors to the early stages of chemical dependence.


If you are a drug user, you may be chemically dependent if you:

  • Use drugs at every opportunity.
  • Wish that you were experiencing the effects of drugs even when there are none around.
  • Lie about the frequency with which you drink alcohol or use drugs.
  • Cannot feel comfortable or enjoy yourself unless you are under the influence of drugs.
  • Have noticed the deterioration of personal relationships, decreased work performance, and a tendency to prioritize accessing and using drugs.
  • Feel depressed, hopeless, or suicidal.


Chemical dependency can be diagnosed by a physician, a psychiatrist, or another qualified health care professional. Rapid weight loss, lethargy, lack of concern for personal hygiene and well-being, and noticeable changes in mood and behavior are other signs that may support this diagnosis.

Treatment Options

Based on the extent to which an individual is chemically dependent, the individual’s age, the substance that is being abused, and the substance abuser’s preferences, one or more of several addiction treatment options may be employed. These include detoxification and education in a sober living community, medical supervision, substance abuse group meetings, and one-on-one therapy.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse and you are looking for a chemical dependence treatment program, contact Narco Freedom, Inc. Call (718) 292-4640 to find out more about the services we provide in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.


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