Steps Of Addiction

Stages of Addiction
Few people take their first dose of a drug-- illegal or legal-- with the hope of getting addicted. Yet for 2009, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that 23.5 million people sought some form of treatment for drug and alcohol problems. Of course, individual physiology and psychological makeup have much to do with how swiftly addiction can take hold and with the quantity consumed before crossing the unseen threshold from freedom to slavery.

While each individual instance may differ in time frame and potency of dependence, some patterns are widespread among the total pool of drug abusers. Through the accounts of addicted people and those who treat them, researchers can recognize benchmarks for the phases of substance addiction.

Experimenting With Substances

Experimentation may have several different motivations. Among young people, peer pressure is a significant factor in partaking in their initial drag, drink or snort. Addiction need not start in adolescence. A middle-aged or older person may try prescription pain relievers to manage continuous aches and discomfort. Even the elderly may take alcohol consumption or drugs to alleviate loneliness. These correspond to strategic moments in a person's life when a substance is taken to initiate a bodily, social or emotional affliction a little bit more bearable. Disconnected occasions of use may or may not be continued with increased frequentness or quantities. With no realistic self-assessment an honest evaluation of the symptoms of substance addiction an individual might move unwittingly into the more distressing stages of drug addiction.

Consistent Consumption

Taking a drug or other people substance on a regular basis may not always lead a person into addiction. Some can take a substance continuously for a time span and afterwards discontinue its consumption with negligible distress. The probability of dependence is based on the timeframe of the use period and the potency of the doses. Should the duration continue indefinitely and the strength of dosage increase likewise, routine use might develop into drug addiction. An additional warning sign is certain changes in conduct. If speech and behaviors change dramatically, especially an increased tendency toward aggressiveness and high-risk tendencies, it is necessary to cease using the drug.

Hazardous Use

While the stages of drug addiction are gone through, the user's personal decisions and conduct become progressively more hazardous, both to herself or himself and others. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 28.4 percent of young adults between the ages of 21 and 25 operated a vehicle under the influence of illicit substances in 2009. Close friends and loved ones are ideally fit to identify whether normal patterns are modifying. Telltale signs of progressively high-risk actions normally include:

• Operating a vehicle while under the influence of a sedative
• Using money recklessly to obtain the drug
• Defensive during conversation
• Secrecy
• Adjustments in appearance.
Changes in desire for food, memory failure and degrading coordination are also manifestations of substance abuse. The demarcation line dividing high-risk use and dependence is difficult and thin to differentiate. Finding aid for oneself or somebody you care about ought not be postponed at this phase.


Of all the stages of drug use, addiction and dependence are the most difficult to distinguish. The destructive repercussions of drug abuse are already observable in addiction. The addicted individual is regularly absent from work because of repetitive usage of the controlling drug. In addition to the employer, the drug abuser may sometimes let obligations to family, friends, neighbors and society go by the wayside. The risky tendencies recorded above become more habitual.
Through all of this, though, the dependent differs from the addict by meeting sufficient responsibilities to maintain the fundamental framework of their life. Though the trajectory of drug abuse stages is still headed downward, the appearance of functionality lingers.


If changes are not made-- and aid is not sought-- the stages of drug addiction lead to the most harmful stage: addiction itself. Now the individual is psychologically and physically bonded to continuous consumption of the substance or alcohol. The stage of brain disease is reached and the sufferer undergoes numerous harmful results of prolonged substance abuse. The heart and blood circulation system may be endangered, as can the respiratory system. The immune system is diminished, allowing hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and some types of cancer to devestate the addict. Brain damage and dementia can also happen.
At this particular depth, the individual pursuing liberty from addiction must go through detoxification. Because the addiction is of both mind and body, withdrawal manifestations are most effectively managed and cared for by experienced medical professionals. After the addictive drug has left the body, the substance abuser should collaborate with pyschologists to determine the causes and character of the addiction. Systematic and honest treatment options with mental health professionals, blended with consistent attendance in a support group has led numerous outwardly hopeless addicts to daily lives free from drug abuse.

Without a realistic self-assessment-- an honest assessment of the signs of drug addiction-- an individual can pass unwittingly into the more severe stages of drug addiction.
Taking a drug or other substance on a routine basis does not necessarily entrap an individual into addiction. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 28.4 percent of young people in between the ages of 21 and 25 drove a vehicle under the influence of illicit drugs in 2009. Of all the stages of drug addiction, use and dependence are the most challenging to differentiate. If adjustments are not initiated-- and help is not secured-- the stages of substance addiction lead to the most dangerous stage: addiction itself.

Structure and Statistics from:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *