The 5 Stages of Dependency

Hi, in this article you’re going to learn about the five stages of dependency that addictions go through and then a simple solution that can help you overcome all of them.

Some people who have a substance abuse justify it by simply referring to it as a “bad habit”. But that line is thin, at best.

As you read through the five stages of dependency below, think about where you might fit in. This model doesn’t only apply to drug addictions or substance abuse, but is a useful model that can be applied in many different context.

These are the 5 Stages of Dependency.

Stage 1) Experimentation. All forms of addiction start out with experimentation. Here it’s all innocent and fun. You get into it to get a bit of risk, variety and peak experience in your life. You want to try something a little bit out there. In this phase you get a first taste for how the substances makes you feel. It’s also characterized by being a thrill seeking, not planned ahead of time.

Stage 2) Recreational. At this point the use becomes more of a conscious choice, though it’s still not frequent. And in the Recreational stage, user also begin planning more specifically when they will use the drug (in whatever form it comes) for the purpose of increasing the good times you get from it.

Stage 3) Misuse. More and more often you start seeking it out, the substance. And it grows to the progressive level now where it becomes part of your life to use it on a regular basis. Here negative consequences of the misuse start becoming more apparent, like hangovers, shortness of breath, and excess weight. This can be a tipping point.

Stage 4) Abuse. When you get to this part of the addiction, it has become your predominate goal to get more and more of the substance. And you find yourself getting into situations where the substance is, almost obsessively. You can’t get enough. You need that buzz to feel okay. And here, the bad consequences of your actions get worse and intensify.

Stage 5) Dependency. Lastly, you stop being able to remain any sense of independence from the substance. At this point your life revolves around getting that hit, hit becomes a total preoccupation to use tobacco, food, alcohol or marijuana. When you get to this stage you may also begin experiencing memory loss. In the dependence stage, you’re pretty much willing to do anything to get hold of more of the drug.

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