Am I An Addict Or Is This A Phase?

Guilt. Embarrassment. Shame.

If you’ve felt these emotions as a result of drug use, you’re not alone. These feelings are felt by drug addicts and casual users alike. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 46 percent of Americans admit to trying an illicit drug at least once in their lifetime; 51 percent have consumed alcohol within the last month.

While millions of people experiment or struggle with drugs, fewer are actual drug addicts. So what’s the difference between addiction and a phase?

A study of addiction as a psychobiological process by the State University of New York at Buffalo reveals the “phase” as a stage in the nature of addiction.


With this view, it becomes clear that addiction is the culmination of casual drug use intensifying to something more extreme. If you have not yet reached exaggerated or compulsive behavior, you are not yet an addict.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should continue experimenting with drugs or drinking alcohol unchecked. Instead, use your concern as motivational strength to reverse your habits before they become more self-destructive. Please note that even if you’re not an addict, counseling may be needed as part of your recovery process.



Since there are multiple stages or “phases” that lead to addiction, it can be difficult to determine whether or not you’ve become a drug addict. If you’re unsure whether or not you qualify as a drug addict, ask yourself the following questions. Be sure to answer each question honestly, considering your actions over the last twelve months:

  • Have you used drugs for recreational use outside of medicinal reasons?
  • Have you ever been arrested for illicit drug use or possession?
  • Has drug use negatively impacted (or cost) relationships with family and friends?
  • Have you ever abused a prescription drug?
  • Is it impossible to go a day, two days, a week without drugs?
  • Do you have blackouts or “visions” when using drugs?
  • Has drug use cost you your job or affected your performance ability?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to admit that you might have a problem. If you’re feeling guilty or embarrassed or even ashamed to answer, “Yes” to these questions, it’s okay to acknowledge the truth. No one intends to become an addict. No one thinks that that one hit will trigger a downward spiral. No one experiments to become a “druggie.”

What matters is that you realize that recovery is important to your health and well-being. Whether you’re a drug addict or simply going through a phase, it’s not to late to turn your life around.

Contact JourneyPure today to learn more about addiction and whether inpatient drug rehab is right for you.

Leave a Response