Chemical Dependency

Individuals with a chemical dependency, whether it’s alcohol, “street” drugs or prescription drugs, start depending on the chemical in the drug to the point that they can’t function and literally become ill without it. Chemical dependency affects all ages and races of people, and also both male and female. Chemical Dependency has the ability to take over one’s life, and if left untreated, chemical dependency can ultimately end one’s life. Fortunately, there are many programs and treatments, doctors and therapists, and family and friends, which can all help those individuals suffering with chemical dependency.

Signs and Symptoms of Chemical Dependency

The following are some of the more common signs and symptoms of someone with chemical dependency. However, some individuals may present different symptoms or behaviors because of the many different side effects of chemical dependency.

  • Getting drunk or high on a regular basis, sometimes several times a week
  • Loss of interest in regular activities or hobbies; change of friends or social circle
  • Poor work or school performance; loss of motivation and drive
  • Taking extreme risks; getting in trouble with the law
  • Extreme weight loss, blood-shot eyes, change of appearance or little or no hygiene

Teens and Chemical Dependency

Unfortunately, many teenagers and young adults are becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol, and thus developing chemical dependency. Some teens and adolescents are more prone to chemical dependency. For example, those teens who were raised by a chemical dependent parent or caregiver are more familiar with drugs and/or alcohol and are more likely to become chemically dependent themselves. Other factors such as physical or sexual abuse in the past or present can cause teens or adolescents to turn to drugs and /or alcohol, resulting in a chemical dependency. Teens who are depressed or suicidal, or who have physical or mental limitations may also be more prone to drug or alcohol dependency. For many, what starts as a socially “exciting”, experimental activity with friends, quickly takes a turn for the worse, resulting in detention from school, loss of friends and interests, and eventually a life full of misery and unhappiness.

Treatment for Chemical Dependency

There are a wide variety of treatments and plans for individuals suffering from chemical dependency. Doctors and physicians base their decision on the type of treatment for an individual based on many factors including age, extent of dependence and symptoms, and the type of substance/s abused. An individual with chemical dependency also has the right to voice their opinion and help decide ultimately which treatment plan will be used. Typically, programs such as in-patient, out-patient and group or individual therapy has been proven to be the most successful in treating chemically dependent individuals. For teens, family-focused programs and support groups are especially beneficial because of all who are involved. These types of programs help educate, inform, and aide in the treatment process.