Pre-addiction means that an individual is using substances in an unhealthy way but may not be diagnosed with a “severe substance use disorder,” or the clinical term for addiction. Individuals with pre-addiction may experience negative consequences to their health, job, relationships or safety due to their substance use.
At this stage, individuals are at risk of developing addiction if changes are not made. Lifestyle changes and behavioral health support at this stage can help prevent the onset of addiction and improve overall quality of life. Addiction treatment is typically not appropriate for someone experiencing pre-addiction, who would benefit from lower levels of support.
Pre-addiction treatment focuses on developing healthier habits and lifestyle changes that support improved overall mental health and wellbeing. For some, pre-addiction means improving your relationship with substances so they can be used in a healthier way. For others, it may mean giving up substances altogether.