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Is Someone who Only Uses Drugs/Narcotics during Weekends also Addicted?

Abstract: Weekend drug use can be, but need not be an addiction. This depends on how you define addiction. Anyway, the risk of starting an addiction is large even if you only use drugs during weekends.

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Is Someone who Only Uses Drugs/Narcotics during Weekends also Addicted?

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Written by: Wendy Moelker, Psychologist in charge, tutor, Emergis center for mental health care, Goes, the Netherlands.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 22 Jul 2008.

Is someone who only uses drugs/narcotics during weekends also addicted?

Answer:

In general, you don't have to be addicted if you only use drugs during the weekend, although there is a high risk that you won't be able to go out anymore without using drugs.

There is a special category of alcoholics called periodic drinkers, who drink, for example, two weeks in sequence, then are sober for three months, then drink again.

To use during weekends can lead to abuse, and abuse can lead to dependence. XTC is known for that: people have to use XTC before they go out or they will not like the party they are at. XTC is less addictive and will therefore probably lead to minor consumption during the week. The use is and will always be related to going out. It is certainly harmful for the body and in particular the brain to use XTC every week.

If you want to know whether you are addicted you should ask yourself if you think of it all the time, also during the week. A non-addict who uses XTC will not think about it until he goes out again. Someone, who only drinks, smokes or gambles during the weekend, doesn't have to be addicted. If he/she doesn't think of it during the week, doesn't desire it and easily skips a weekend then there is not too much to worry about. When you use alcohol or drugs, or smoke cigarettes or gamble, it is good to look back at last year and ask yourself how you have handled your use. You can ask yourself the following questions:

  • do I now drink, smoke or gamble more, or use more drugs?
  • do I do this to make sure I have fun or to be in a good mood?
  • does my behavior influence other things (like school or work)?
  • do I think about it very often?
  • do I do this to forget about negative effects from last time?
  • do my friends know how often I use, how much I use and what I do?
  • do my friends make comments on my use every now and then?
  • can I easily have a nice weekend without drugs?
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