This study explores an understanding of the Lacanian discourses and developmental dynamics as they relate to, in particular, the study of addiction and dependency. The terminology used in the field is discussed. Examination of the historical background to elements of Lacanian thought is undertaken. Literature on Lacanian discourses are explored and are discussed in social and individual contexts. A review of literature related to developmental dynamics is included which explores concepts around the first and second other and the relationship between language and identity. Contemporary statistics are reviewed and discussed from a Lacanian perspective. The study finds that the study of Lacan is of relevance to an understanding of the dynamics of addiction and dependency in society and in the individual. The study recommends the concurrent use of the terms dependency and addiction in training students in this field. The author concludes that societal dynamics in Ireland around addiction and dependency can be considered from within the Lacanian framework and shows how these elements relate to the Irish experience.