Back to Useful Info

Categories of Drug Use

Useful Information

Some people can move between various categories of drug use.

Experimental use

A person tries a drug once or twice out of curiosity but does not use it again. Peer pressure is the primary cause and often involves more socially acceptable drugs like marijuana, nicotine or alcohol. When someone experiments with one of these drugs and the single use does not cause significant harm or immediately turns into addiction, they often develop a false sense of security and later try more dangerous drugs. Experimenting with drugs is NOT harmless.

Recreational/Social use

A person chooses to use a substance for enjoyment, mainly to improve a mood or for a social occasion. Some use it to “party”, while others to “unwind”. Many people will brush this off, thinking, “It’s just a phase”, or that sporadic consumption is not addictive. In reality, drugs of any sort all have the potential for very dangerous effects. Consider laced drugs, risky behaviours, lasting changes to the brain, psychosis, overdose… The short-term pleasurable effects may seem positive on the surface. Still, the fleeting or falsified feelings of confidence, relief and enjoyment tend to establish the start of long-term problems.

Situational use

A person may use a drug to cope with the demands of situations such as responding to peer group pressure, overcoming shyness in a social situation, dealing with some form of stress, either personal or work-related, or even staying awake for exams. This goes hand in hand with people who are looking for drugs to escape situations or cope with sometimes deep-seated issues.

Intensive use

A person may intentionally use a large amount of a drug over a short period of time, which may last for hours, days or sometimes weeks. This user will likely experience physical symptoms of their drug use, like nosebleeds and weight loss. This person’s performance at work may be dwindling, and their relationships with loved ones may be impacted by frequently unpredictable behaviour.

Dependent use

A person is more likely to become dependent on drugs after prolonged or heavy use. Under these circumstances, the person has built a tolerance and needs to take the drug consistently to feel normal and to avoid very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Psychological dependence happens when cravings are controlled by the mental drive to use.

Dependant users continue despite drastically negative consequences, cannot function without their drug, have abandoned personal relationships, have issues with the law, and their lives are in danger.

When physical dependence occurs, it means the person will go through withdrawal responses when they are unable to ingest their drug of choice. These withdrawals can range from light cravings to severe cravings with significant pain.

Is there hope?

Yes. The redemption process of recovery from addiction can begin at any phase of drug use. A good program involves truth, love, behavioural therapy, and experiential counselling. 

We are here to help.

Call us on 087 133 4357 or
Email us at:

More Useful Info

Why Do People Use Drugs?

Useful Information

Why do people start doing drugs or addictive substances in the first place? Everyone knows that drugs are dangerous and a difficult habit to kick, but that doesn’t stop them. Drugs affect people of all ages, genders, races, and socioeconomic statuses. Various reasons put some individuals at risk of addictive substances use and its consequences, ... Read more
Read More

Signs of Addiction

Useful Information

Most people assume it is easy to recognise substance abuse, but it is more widespread than people realise. Users are likely do anything to keep it secret while falling deeper into the dark cycles long before a loved one notices. Here are some warning signs of addiction: Sudden Mood or Personality Changes Mood swings aren’t ... Read more
Read More

Cold Therapy

Useful Information

Introducing a new feature to our programme that is ‘making waves’ in the world of mental health and well-being – cold therapy. The Mental Benefits of Cold Therapy Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is recognised for its physical benefits. However, its mental health benefits are equally noteworthy and supported by research. Stress Reduction One ... Read more
Read More