The Early Stages of Dependency: What You Need to Know

Recognizing the early stages of dependency

Our society has created such blurred lines regarding what “counts” as addiction and what doesn’t, and for many people, the line of dependency is crossed without concern because it’s what “everyone else is doing”. The people we spend our time with tend to normalize certain behaviors for us, and if drinking or using drugs becomes added to the mix, we may find that we’re using more often – and developing a dependence to the substance – without even realizing it. Whether you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, recognizing the symptoms of early stage dependency can give you a fighting chance of seeking help before a full-blown addiction develops.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that dependence is quite different from addiction in that dependence primarily constitutes only the body’s adaptation to the drug, requiring the person to consume more of it in order to achieve a certain effect. When a person is in the beginning stages of dependency, they’re going to start increasing their substance use over time. This will lead to the following:

  • The person will start to need more and more of the substance in order to achieve the desired effect that intrigued them to begin with
  • A person may drink or use drugs a bit more than they originally intended – or they may stay out longer or continue to use substances even after a night out with friends has ended
  • If the substance of choice isn’t taken for a decent period of time, withdrawal symptoms may start to appear, such as: headaches, insomnia, irritability, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue and more
  • As dependency develops, a person may have less and less of an interest in engaging in hobbies they used to enjoy – because they’d rather center their focus of attention on using

Addiction eventually develops once a person has continued abusing substances, despite their harmful consequences it’s causing to their home life, relationships, school performance, work projects and more. If you or a loved one are ready to beat addiction at the dependency stage, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights.

Cumberland Heights in Crossville Tennessee is a 12-Step based outpatient alcohol and drug rehab program. Cumberland Heights’ Intensive Outpatient Program is designed for individuals age 18 and above who may be in the early stages of dependency or are experiencing problems with alcohol or drug use. If you’re ready to seek help today, call us at 931-250-5200.