Level # 1
A drug user and alcohol user would be defined as an individual who drinks occasionally or has tried a drug. On holidays, very special occasions, large celebrations, or less than a handful of times a year he will indulge in some type of substance usage. He may drink on a regular basis; however, he does not drink to get drunk or to change his mood. He may only have 1-3 drinks over the course of a couple of hours, or he may try or experiment with a drug a few times.
A user is also lacking the mental obsession of a heavy alcohol user or drug user. He lives life free of, any kind of craving or obsession (either mental or physical) for any type of mind-altering substance. Someone who has a glass of wine with dinner would be classified as such.
There will be no evidence pointing towards a diminishing function of properly attending to daily routines and life events. He will not experience hardship or problems in his life due to drinking or drugging. A user can be in the first stage of addiction. His potential to move through the stages of addiction into the fourth stage is left up to time itself.
Level # 2 Abusers
A substance abuser uses quite frequently, on the weekends, or 1-3 times a week. An alcohol abuser and drug abuser drinks to get drunk and has a subtle obsession for mind-altering substances. He may engage in drug or alcohol abuse several times a month. He may go to the bar every weekend and drink very heavily. He seeks out the mind-altered and mood change. He wants to get drunk or high and does so. He is able to hold a job. On the outside he seems to make sober rational decisions, maintain healthy relationships and still be seen as functioning like a normal person. A problem with this usage is over time he is taking the chance of becoming drug and/or alcohol dependent. His routine drug usage and alcohol usage can escalate depending on his emotional pain, spiritual scarring and chemical imbalances.
Abusers will fall into the second and third stages of addiction. Which stage, will depend on how their addiction is currently affecting their life. If they are not displaying any type of erratic or bizarre behavior, then they are in stage two. If they are displaying erratic and bizarre behavior, they will be in stage three. You will not find an abuser in the first stage of addiction.
Abusers may or may not need an intervention. Those who are displaying the erratic and bizarre behavior will need an intervention. Those who are not displaying erratic and bizarre behavior will not need an intervention until they transition into erratic and bizarre behavior. If or when they do display the erratic and bizarre behavior will only be revealed over time.
Level # 3 Dependent
A drug or alcohol dependent individual is quite noticeable (unless the observer is in denial) to those looking from the outside inward. A dependent engages in drug and/alcohol consumption despite the consequences. He may have lost his job, dropped out of school, or isolated himself from friends and family. He spends most of his time under the influence of some type of drug or alcohol. He drinks or uses drugs, if not every day, a minimum of 4 times a week. He uses to feel normal. He obsesses about drinking or taking his drug of choice. He may steal, pawn, or trade items he had once valued in the past. He is financially bound to drug and alcohol dependency. He may hide his usage or lie about how much he abuses. He will become either emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically, socially, and/or financially bankrupt, if he is not already.
He displays bizarre or erratic behavior that he justifies, minimizes and seems normal. His responsibility and accountability is projected onto those closest to him. These individuals are in the fourth stage of addiction. They are in a downward spiral that will end them up in prison, six feet underground or in a psychiatric institution. This type of drug and alcohol dependency requires an addiction intervention to help them get back on path immediately!