Stages of Addiction

The following is a simplistic model of the stages of addiction.  The first stage is “fun”.  In this stage the user can experience fun or recreation even the first time they experiment.  The second stage is “fun + trouble”.  In this stage it’s fun, but causes some kind of trouble or adverse consequences in the life of the user.  The third stage is “trouble”.  In this stage it ceases to be fun and the user is only attempting to “numb out” or escape the mass amount of trouble they’ve accumulated by this time.  For some people addiction or dependence comes early, most continue to have fun to some degree for many years. 

Most addicts or alcoholics eventually “hit bottom” and either end their life or get help.  Sometimes the ending of life is a slow suicide as they eventually physically, mentally and emotionally fall apart while they use or drink themselves to death. 

 Many youth today assume they are not in danger when they use or drink because after all they aren’t an addict.  But death or serious life damage can occur in the second stage as a substance abuser.  One of the more serious dangers is the sexual encounter without protection.  Most youth feel invincible while under the influence of mind altering substances as their best judgement is lost.

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