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What is an addiction?
An addiction is more than just the repeated behaviour of taking a substance or doing a certain activity. Addiction is a physiological compulsion where the sufferer will have no control of their addiction and will put the behaviour or substance before all other needs and wants. Addiction is commonly thought of as illegal drugs, alcohol , gambling or smoking, but with further research you will find that addictions can form from many aspects of people's lives.
What are the stages of addiction?
Addiction doesn't happen overnight, it has 4 main stages.   Stage 1: The first stage of addiction is Experimentation. No-one sets out to become addicted, most people have a friend or family member that encourages the substance or behaviour because they believe it is fun or helpful. Peer pressure is particularly common with younger generations. Stage 2: The second stage of addiction is Regular Use and Abuse. After the initial use an addiction can begin to form if someone begins, recreational use. Or to alleviate negative feelings and boredom. Stage 3: The third stage of addiction is Dependency and Tolerance. This follows regular use because overtime you will build a dependency to your addiction, so you will need it more often to feel 'normal'. You will also begin to build a tolerance, so you will need more of the substance or to partake in the activity more often to feel the same rush that you felt when you first starting your addiction. Stage 4: Once you have moved through each step you will end up at stage 4, which is full-blown Addiction. Basic needs may start being neglected and maintain a normal routine may become a struggle.
When should I get help for my addiction?
No matter which stage of addiction you may be at, it is always important to get help if you want or need help. Many people don't acquire treatment because they don't feel they have 'hit rock bottom' yet, but if you are interested in sobriety, starting that journey before 'rock bottom' will be very beneficial to you. But it is particularly important to reach out for help if your addiction is negatively affecting you, physically, emotionally or financially.