Stages of Addiction: Becoming Addicted

The desire to use now becomes a craving. You need more and more to get the same effect. You have little or no control over your use because the substance is now controlling you. You feel you can't get along without it.

You've become dependent

  • You focus more and more on activities that involve using.
  • Your use is causing more problems, such as money troubles or losing your job, a spouse or a friend.
  • You wake up and can't recall what happened the night before.
  • You use to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Abuse becomes addiction

By now, using is causing real consequences in your life. You may have blackouts or get into arguments or fights. You may be aware that your use is having a bad effect on your work or your relationships.

Think about these statements:

  • I use to get through the day.
  • I feel angry or anxious if I can't use.
  • I plan my activities around when and how I can use.
  • All my friends drink or use other drugs.
  • I use to get rid of a hangover or the shakes.

If this describes you, you may be addicted. You could be heading toward serious health problems. But know that it's never too late to choose to stop.