Abuse

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How drinking and drug problems start

Substance abuse begins with experimentation or occasional use. If you are experimenting with drinking, street drugs or prescription drugs, you may be on your way to drug addiction.

Here are the steps that most often lead to addiction:

Experimentation – The user tries the drug out of curiosity. They may have come across the drug accidentally or through a friend or family member.

Recreational use – The user seeks out the drug but only uses it occasionally.

Habit – The user seeks out the drug and uses it more and more often until it becomes a regular habit.

Abuse – The user continues to use the drug despite problems (for example, it is hurting their relationships or school work).

Dependence/Addiction – The user increases their use of the drug regularly until the getting drunk or high becomes the most important thing in life.

Life is stressful. There are some adults who come home from work and immediately have a drink, smoke a joint or pop a pill in order to feel relaxed. Teens experience the same stress that adults do and may try similar things to relax. The younger you are when you begin experimenting with drugs or alcohol, the more likely you are to develop a problem.

Sometimes drinking and drugs can make other problems in your life worse or keep you from solving them. That’s why it’s important to avoid drinking too much and abusing drugs. If you feel you or a friend may have a drinking or drug problem, email us at help@covenanthouse.ca and a counsellor will reply, Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.

Dealing drinking and drugs
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