Stages of Addiction That Everyone Should Know

In today’s life, individuals are exposed to different stressful circumstances. Divorce, workplace pressure, and sexual assault are some of the scenarios that can ignite depressive thoughts. How you respond when you have stress symptoms is a practical matter for your mental and overall health. Unfortunately, most people opt for substance abuse without knowing the repercussions. While these substances may offer short-term relief, you risk developing addiction Howell. Notably, addiction does not develop spontaneously overnight. It occurs due to repeated substance abuse, which alters how the victim perceives the drug and how their body reacts. Keep reading this article to understand the different stages of addiction.


Individuals who abuse drugs have a particular time they started using them. The drug’s initial use can occur at any time in individuals’ lives. However, most people with addiction started using the drug they chose before they were eighteen. Peer pressures, drug availability, and curiosity are major reasons teenagers try drugs.


In this stage, individuals are not using the drug for the sake of trying. They use the drug they choose in different settings to see how it can impact their lives. Some social activities relating to substance abuse in this stage enhance the teens’ party atmosphere. In this phase, individuals have little to no urge for drug use.

Regular Use

As you continue experimenting with drug use, you graduate from periodic to regular users. It may not necessarily imply that you use drugs every day. However, you will have a certain pattern associated with drug use. While the pattern could vary from one individual to another, in most cases, victims take the drugs every weekend or when emotionally distressed.

Risky Use

In this phase, regular use has negatively affected victims’ lives. For example, individuals start having regular hangover cases in the workplace. In this stage, people around the victim will notice the behavior shifts of this individual. For example, the victims will ignore family responsibilities and lose interest in old hobbies.


Unlike in other stages, drug use in this phase is no longer medical or recreational. Essentially, individuals start relying on the drug of their choice. If they rapidly stop using the choice drug, their body will react adversely by entering withdrawal. Victims opt for continued drug use rather than help since they think drug abuse is the shortest route to overcome withdrawal.


Many people use addiction and dependency to refer to the same thing. However, drug use is no longer your conscious choice when you are in the addiction stage. Until this state, you will only have the tolerance to the drug of your choice. When you are addicted, you will feel like you cannot deal with life without having access to the drug.

You may think that addiction develops overnight, but you are mistaken. This compulsive substance use disorder is complex and involves stages. During the initiation stage, individuals learn how to use drugs for the first time. After experimentation, the individual graduates to the regular use of the drug. Consequently, they enter risky use where their behavior starts changing. Over time, their body develops an attachment to substance use and later enters addiction. If you are struggling with addiction, seeking professional help is essential to interrupt that addiction cycle.

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