Nobody wakes up one morning with a drug addiction. It is not something that merely happens overnight; there are a number of stages a person will go through before becoming addicted. The first stage is experimentation. There are many reasons a person tries drugs in the first place, but lots do so out of curiosity.

They may have heard from friends about how great certain drugs are and will want to try them for themselves. Others may be tempted to try drugs out of boredom. Another reason is to escape the pressures and problems of life. Many individuals use drugs to help them blot out other things that are going on in their lives.

Habitual Use

The second stage is habitual use. Those that have experimented with drugs may like the way they feel and will then start to use them on a daily basis or just at the weekend when socialising with friends. Not everybody using drugs regularly will become addicted, and some can continue to use them for years without developing an addiction. Whether a person progresses to addiction will depend on the drug used, the strength of it, and the frequency of taking it. It will also depend on the individual.

Drug Abuse

When habitual use progresses to drug abuse, the user will begin to experience adverse side effects including mental health problems, impaired judgement, increased risk of overdose, and risk of damage to internal organs.


Once a person has begun abusing drugs, he or she will usually become dependent on it. They will continue to use the drug even though it is causing harm and/or problems within the person’s life. The individual may feel they cannot function without the drug and will spend much of their time either taking it or thinking about taking it.


Addiction is the natural progression from dependence. Those with addiction will have built up a tolerance to the drug, meaning they will start taking more and more just to experience the same effects as before. They will usually begin to neglect other areas of their life and, if they try to stop taking the drug, will experience withdrawal symptoms.

Signs of Addiction

While some people can habitually use drugs without developing an addiction, many will not even realise that they have an addiction until they experience problems getting their hands on drugs or until they try to stop taking them. This is when many experience withdrawal symptoms. There are other signs of addiction that may not be so noticeable to the user, but may be something that others will begin to spot.

Those with addiction often experience changes in their personality or may experience mood swings. They may start to lose interest in hobbies or activities that they were once involved in and enjoyed. Addiction can cause problems at home or work, and some individuals with addiction may find they are unable to continue doing their job effectively. Lack of interest in personal hygiene is another common side effect of addiction, and one that family and friends may notice.

When an addicted person is confronted about drug use, they may become defensive and vehemently deny that they have a problem. Some addicts genuinely do not think that they have an addiction while others just do not want to admit it.

Getting Help

Addiction is an illness, but it is an illness that can be treated in an alcohol or drug rehab. There are many treatment providers across the UK helping thousands of people suffering from all types of addiction. If you or a loved one needs help for addiction, call Addiction Helper today and we will put you in touch with a suitable organisation from where you can get the help and support you need.

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