What Are The 6 Stages Of Addiction?


6 stages of addiction

An addiction doesn’t start spontaneously overnight. Instead, it is a gradual process over weeks, months or years changing how an individual sees a drug and how their body reacts to it.


Here’s a closer look at the six stages of addiction and how you can break the cycle.


If you or someone you love uses drugs or alcohol, knowing the signs can help determine whether help is needed. Addiction treatment centers can safely and effectively treat any stage of addiction.


1. Initial Use 

Trying substances. This may start in high school, or college.


2. Experimentation

Experimenting with substances, blackouts, alcohol poisoning occurs in this stage as individuals are learning about the amount they can handle.


3. Regular Use

After college or around that age, there starts to be a schedule to the drinking or use. It’s no longer just a Friday night thing now, perhaps it's a few days a week.


4. Dependence

Becoming dependent on the substance either physically or psychologically. For example, this could mean drinking more to alleviate shakes or withdrawals. It could also mean hiding or lying about use.


5. Addiction

Substance use becomes an addiction when an individual has attempted to stop and has not been successful, or there are major impairments in life with work, family, or financial situations that are related to substance use. 


6. Treatment

Care Addiction can assist at any stage of addiction. It is never too late to start treatment. By providing tools and evidenced based practices we are able to give individuals skills needed to have lasting sobriety. Care Addiction offers a small group setting with intimate, personalized care.




If you or a loved one need help for an addiction and want to know more about treatment programs, feel free to contact us.