Chemical dependency is a maladaptive pattern of substance abuse (i.e., alcohol; prescriptive or street drugs) that negatively affects an individual cognitively, behaviorally, and/or physically. The individual continues abuse of the chemical, despite adverse life problems.
1. Physical addiction to a drug or substance, such as alcohol or heroine, that results in biological changes (including withdrawl) if discontinued suddenly. 2. Any condition resulting from dependency on or abuse of a psychoactive substance as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-Revised, (DSM-IV-R), or subsequent revisions, published by the American Psychiatric Association.