Chronic addicts

Disease of Addiction


8- Chronic Addicts


Not everyone who uses drugs is an addict. There are three general types of people who use drugs, but it is only the chronic types who develop the disease of addiction. Review the diagram below to identify whether you possess the characteristics of a chronic addict.


1. Normal types

2. Heavy types

3. Chronic types


3 types of drug users

1- Normal Types

  • These types can use drugs occasionally for fun or on social occasions
  • They can take it or leave it
  • Feel the effect and don’t want anymore – Normal reaction
  • Have power to control or stop


2- Heavy Types

  • These types use drugs to cope with stress and pressure
  • They use drugs to escape painful feelings
  • After a while they need more and more for the same effect – develop tolerance
  • They feel uneasy when drugs are unavailable
  • They start to experience mental and physical deterioration
  • Experience financial, social or marital problems
  • Experience work or school performance deterioration
  • They lose interest in simple pleasures
  • They have a tendency to isolate themselves
  • Given sufficient reason, have power to control or stop


3- Chronic Types

Chronic addicts go through 3 phases as described below:  


1st phase

  • These types can never go back to Normal or Heavy types
  • They experience intense euphoria and relief from drug use
  • Their brain likes these intense & unnatural feelings and wants more
  • Obsession develops – they want more drugs despite harm
  • They use drugs to escape from or cope with life
  • Drugs help them feel powerful and confidant
  • They lose ability to Inability to enjoy normal activities


2nd phase

  • Their brain’s structure and communication system becomes abnormal
  • Insanity develops – they cannot distinguish reality from fantasy
  • They use insane defence mechanisms to use more drugs
  • The exhibit extreme personality traits
  • Slowly their brain adapts to drugs & needs them to function normally – Tolerance
  • They use more drugs despite adverse consequences – Allergy
  • Their brain gets physically activated to want more drugs- Craving
  • They neglect themselves & others
  • They experience financial, legal, work and family problems
  • They lose the power to control or stop their drug use
  • Disease of addiction has developed


3rd phase

  • They need drugs to survive
  • Drugs take precedence over everything else in life
  • They experience withdrawal symptoms if drug use is reduced or stopped
  • They lose interest in life & have suicidal thoughts
  • Repeated attempts to stop to no avail
  • Their life in chaos & unmanageability
  • Have lost power to stop or control – Powerless

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