How Addiction Begins
This is a stage that many people find themselves in early on as teens or young adults. It could include underage drinking, abusing over-the-counter drugs, stealing prescription pills from relatives or experimenting with illicit drugs. For many, usage stops there. For others, it’s the beginning of a long struggle. According to research by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), 90 percent of all adults with substance use disorders began using before age 18.
Regular Use Becomes Addiction – Leads to Addiction
At this stage, the user has begun a pattern of use and abuse, which may lead to some risky behavior like binge drinking and driving under the influence (DUI). This is the beginning of a user becoming preoccupied with drugs and/or alcohol.