Needing something overly, especially an addictive drug.

According to DSM-IV, any three of the nine symptoms qualifies you for dependence.

With imagination it can be applied to things other than illegal drugs. The wording of these is by Ravesafe, paraphrased from DSM-IV.

The Symptoms of Dependence

  1. You take more drugs than you planned or over a longer period than you planned. e.g. Just one drink turns into a all night boozing spree.
  2. You know that things are kinda out of control, and you are unable to put a lid on it.
  3. You spend a lot of time finding the money to buy your goodies, taking them and/or recovering from them.
  4. You suffer intoxication or withdrawal symptoms when you should be doing your work, or studying or being a good spouse/parent/child.
  5. You give up important social, work or recreation activities.
  6. With heavy and prolonged use, you develop physical problems yet continue despite the fact that continued use is making it worse.
  7. Significant long term tolerance develops, and you have to take more for the same effect.
  8. With continued use, you find withdrawal symptoms develop when you try to stop or reduce intake. Note this is not applicable to all drugs: some (eg Heroin or nicotine) are much worse than others.
  9. After developing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, you take the drug to relieve or avoid this withdrawal. This might be taking the drug throughout the day eg Cocaine.

Remember that you only have to score three out of nine to qualify as dependant.


The criteria are not a mathematical formula, but guidelines that call for an input of human judgement to make them work. There will be grey areas. Though they are not perfect, they are still a very useful mind tool.

De*pend"ence (?), n. [LL. dependentia, fr. L. dependens. See Dependent, and cf. Dependance.]


The act or state of depending; state of being dependent; a hanging down or from; suspension from a support.


The state of being influenced and determined by something; subjection (as of an effect to its cause).

The cause of effects, and the dependence of one thing upon another.
Bp. Burnet.


Mutual connection and support; concatenation; systematic inter-relation.

So dark and so intricate of purpose, without any dependence or order.
Sir T. More.


Subjection to the direction or disposal of another; inability to help or provide for one's self.

Reduced to a servile dependence on their mercy.


A resting with confidence; reliance; trust.

Affectionate dependence on the Creator is the spiritual life of the soul.
T. Erskine.


That on which one depends or relies; as, he was her sole dependence.


That which depends; anything dependent or suspended; anything attached a subordinate to, or contingent on, something else.

Like a large cluster of black grapes they show
And make a large dependence from the bough.


A matter depending, or in suspense, and still to be determined; ground of controversy or quarrel.


To go on now with my first dependence.
Beau. & Fl.


© Webster 1913.

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