What is Psychological Dependence?

Detox and treatment can have a huge impact on your body and your emotional stability. Addictive substances are insidious If you have not been using long enough or using products that don’t trigger a physical addiction, you may have developed a psychological dependence.

What is Psychological Dependence? Psychological dependence occurs when you can’t stop focusing on your need for the drug. This can lead to a loss of ability to focus on family and work. You may turn to illegal activities to fund your need for the drug. You may neglect or abandon your family and other responsibilities. The need and pressure to use can be just as severe for psychological dependence as it can for physical dependence.

The Danger Remains

Psychological dependence can cause just as much damage as physical dependence in terms of the damage it does to your life. While physically addictive drugs can do serious long-term damage to your brain, gut, and liver, psychologically addictive drugs can do similar harm to your brain, body, and spirit. There are several addictive products that create a greater risk of psychological addiction.


Cocaine has a strong psychological pull on users. Because this product can initially offer a sense of confidence, power, and focused energy, many users feel a compulsion to use the product repeatedly. Later symptoms of agitation and paranoia can be reduced by using again; soon the user is in a frantic race to catch that initial buzz. Ritalin is another product that generates a sense of focus and alertness that abusers will quickly come to need.

It should be noted that drugs that create psychological needs can still create a great deal of physical damage. Cocaine can lead to elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils, and elevated body temperature. A loss of balance and tremors can also quickly build up to dangerous situations. Some users grow violent after using, and a state of extreme sensitization and anxiety can develop over time.


Many hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD, create a distorted world for the user. While there have been no noted cases of overdose death from using LSD, users who take large amounts can experience a psychotic break and may well harm themselves or others while under the influence.

This is a drug that can return at dangerous times as well. While a healthy person has a low risk of flashbacks, they can come at any time and lead to dangerous decisions. If you’ve ever used LSD and felt the desire to race down a dangerously steep slope for the rush, imagine what could happen to you and your passengers if you had a flashback while you were driving. Your ability to judge speed and distance while under the influence would be impossible to rely on and these flashbacks can happen years later. You can build up a tolerance to many hallucinogens.

This means that it will take more of the product to get the same high. If you’ve had to ramp up your use to get the same release and have a bad reaction to any hallucinogen, you could be facing 24 dangerous hours in which you could harm yourself or a loved one. Even if you don’t cause someone serious harm, the risk of permanent psychoses and seizure damage is always present when using hallucinogenic products.


Recent rounds of legalizations have made cannabis products a legal option in many states. While cannabis is not strictly a psychological addiction, it will take long-term chronic use to develop a physical need for the product. For many users, the Indica strain has a calming effect. In the extreme, high doses of CBD intensive strains can lead to lethargy and apathy. Some also suffer from severe paranoia and agitation over time.

Those exposed to high levels of THC experience a sense of euphoria that can cause serious damage to their ability to make good decisions. Extreme danger can arise when using a vehicle or handling any tools. For those caring for pets or children, the danger can extend past the physical risk to the user and cause harm to many others in their sphere. Psychological dependence can be just as strong as physical addiction. Over time, it can cause extreme physical harm and great damage to your sphere. Detox and treatment can help. Ready to get started? Call us today at 302-842-2390.

Related Posts

About Us

Essentials mission is to renew lives impacted by addiction through personalized and complete behavioral healthcare. Our main purpose is to provide services and education to the client and family that will support long lasting recovery of mind, body, and spirit.