Stages of Substance Use

There are different stages of substance use. It starts from simple experimentation to hard addiction. Whichever stage one is in, there are mediation strategies to help steer clear from drug abuse. It is not necessary for someone to hit rock bottom before he can benefit from effective mediation and treatment.


This stage is where the use is basically voluntary. A teen may be curious of how using a particular substance, say marijuana, feels, and so he tries it. A child is angry with how his family has been broken by the divorce of his parents and he tries drugs to vent out his anger. A man lost his girlfriend or wife and he uses alcohol to mask the pain. These are possible ways of starting substance abuse – mere experimentation, and this can lead to regular use.

substance abuseRegular Use

After discovering that alcohol, marijuana and other drugs can make one forget, albeit just temporarily, certain problems in life, one uses the substance more often.

Risky Use

Regular use leads to risky use, when one starts to disregard the safety risks involved in frequent alcohol drinking or drug use. Take, for example, a man who has taken a few bottles of beer then disregarding the risk of driving under the influence,  and drives anyway.


While one may still be able to maintain relationships and keep himself useful at work, it becomes necessary to use drugs at certain periods, like at night to facilitate sleep or in the morning as an energy booster.


At this stage, the user becomes too involved with substance abuse leading to serious psychological and physical changes. The user now not only seeks the effects of the drugs, but also craves for it. It becomes a part of his life and he feels that he cannot function without it.

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