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Chemical Dependency and the Dysfunctional Family - Chemicals Are in Control - How Does Chemical Dependency Occur?

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Most people go through similar stages that lead to chemical dependency. Not everyone has the same experiences, but these are the most common. Chemical dependency is a process. It happens at different rates depending upon the drug and the person who is taking it.

  1. First, you experiment with drugs. People first take drugs for many different reasons. You may try drugs because of pressures at home, coaxing from friends, or curiosity about how a drug will make you feel.
  2. Your tolerance increases. The more chemicals you use, the more drugs you need to get the same effect.
  3. You may have blackouts. There may be times when you do not remember what you did when you were drinking or taking drugs.
  4. You avoid talking about drugs or alcohol. As your addiction develops, you try to take attention away from anything that will point it out.
  5. You become preoccupied with drug use. You spend time thinking about drugs, plan your use carefully, and choose your friends based on drugs.
  6. You blame others and make excuses for your drug use. You may even cause fights as an excuse to drink. This stage is called denial.
  7. You lose control of your drug use. You cannot control how much you use or stop yourself from taking more drugs. You may feel weak or think that you do not have willpower.
  8. Your drug use affects your family, friends, or education. Drugs may destroy your relationships. You may skip school to take drugs.
  9. You may have medical, legal, or psychiatric problems. Chemical dependency brings many difficulties.
  10. You lose hope. As your addiction gets worse, you may feel as though there is nothing you can do to stop it. You may feel as if your life has lost its meaning or is not worth living.
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