The stages of drug use and drug abuse.
This state is aspirational, involving a person’s zero use of any psychoactive drug. Remember, alcohol or even coffee falls under a drug category, so in a way, very few people can claim to be drug-free.
This is usually a one-off or short-term use of a drug. Here, the individual is just trying it, falling for peer pressure, or wanting to belong to a group. Sometimes the person uses the drug just because it is available, or just to satisfy a curiosity.
Social or Recreational Use:
This includes an individual’s regular use of the drug for the desired effect. The individual can control the amounts, when to use them, and what combinations to use with other substances. There is control here. The user may consume it alone or in a group.
Emotional Use (Suppressive or Generative):
At this stage, the user is looking to generate a mood such as to have fun, elicit a kind of feeling or emotion. The user may also be looking to suppress a feeling /emotion /depression or to cope with stress. The individual may use it privately or sometimes in a group.
Frequency is key at this stage. The user is spending more time on the drug at the expense of school work, social life, and things that the user used to enjoy. At this stage, their friends or peers are likely habitual users. The user is now looking forward to using the drug again.
At this stage, the user is not in control of the substance. They crave to use the drug regardless of any possible harmful effect. There are usually social, health, professional and legal consequences at this stage.