Chemical dependency

Other names: Addiction, drug


Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a dependence on a legal or illegal drug or medication. Alcohol and nicotine are legal substances but are also considered drugs. When addicted, you're unable to control your drug use despite the harm it causes, leading to intense cravings and difficulty quitting without help.



Recognizing Drug Abuse in Family Members


Recognizing Signs of Drug Use or Intoxication


Marijuana, hashish, and other cannabis-containing substances:


Synthetic cannabinoids and substituted cathinones:


Barbiturates and benzodiazepines:


Meth, cocaine, and other stimulants:


Club drugs:






Narcotic painkillers:


Environmental factors and genetics play a role in the development of drug addiction. Changes in the brain's pleasure pathways contribute to physical addiction.


Family history of addiction, gender, mental health disorders, peer pressure, lack of family involvement, and stress can increase the risk of addiction.


Drug use can lead to physical and mental health issues, accidents, legal problems, financial difficulties, and strained relationships.


  1. What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is a dependence on a legal or illegal substance causing intense cravings.

  1. What are common symptoms of drug addiction?

Daily drug use, intense urges for the drug, neglecting responsibilities.

  1. How can family members recognize signs of drug abuse?

Changes in behavior, neglected appearance.

  1. What are signs of marijuana use?

Euphoria, heightened senses.

  1. What are risks associated with club drugs?

Hallucinations and reduced inhibitions.

  1. How can one prevent an addiction to illegal drugs?

Avoid taking the drug altogether.

  1. What are potential complications of drug addiction?

Health problems, legal issues.

  1. How can one prepare for a doctor's appointment regarding drug addiction?

Be honest about drug use and make a list of medications being taken.

  1. What treatments are available for chemical dependence?

Therapy sessions and detoxification programs.

  1. How can one cope with addiction and stay drug-free?

Seek therapy, join support groups for ongoing help.