Could a chemical compound change a human body in a way that a regular quantity of that compound is needed to stay alive after the first dose?
The short answer would be yes, there are already such chemicals (and they are more common than I thought, for example alcohol), however those chemicals require an extended period of time in which they are abused.
Similarly, there are substances that replace human biological mechanisms and after a long "training" time those substances may cause the body to stop production of important substances (alcohol is one, but also insulin, benzodiazepines, opiates).
To get inspiration I also asked a similar question on Health SE
However all those substances take a long period of time before taking effect, so is there any real drug/medicine from which I could take inspiration that needs a long detox period (with medical assistance) even after the consumption of a relatively small dose?
Such a drug/medicine would be used (for example) to control special agents; instead of poisoning them and holding the antidote against their good behaviour, a secret agency may simply just give a known substance once, after which the agents need that substance to avoid death.
The fictional drug should be based on some mechanism already present in real medicines so that it has a plausible explanation.
The afore-mentioned substance may have lethal withdrawal, however, a medical assisted detox period should enough to avoid death; in my case I want avoiding death to be non-trivial, while the easiest way to avoid it is simply maintaining regular doses.