Steps Of Addiction. 1st To Last

Stages of Addiction
Few people take their first dose of a drug-- legal or illegal-- with the hope of getting addicted. 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 rapidly addiction can take hold and with the amount ingested prior to crossing the hidden threshold from freedom to enslavement.

While each distinct case may differ in time frame and potency of dependency, some patterns are common within the entire pool of drug abusers. Through the statements of addicted people and the professionals who treat them, clinicians can recognize benchmarks for the stages of substance addiction.

Experimenting With Drugs

Addiction need not begin in youth. Even the elderly may use alcohol or substances to take the edge off being lonely. With no honest self-assessment-- a truthful assessment of the symptoms of drug addiction-- an individual can pass unknowingly into the more acute stages of drug addiction.

Regular Consumption

Taking a drug or other substance regularly may not automatically lead a person into addiction. Some people can consume a substance continuously for a period and afterwards end its use with negligible discomfort. The likelihood of addiction is based upon the timeframe of the consumption and the strength of the dosages. Should the timeframe continue indefinitely and the strength of the dose also increase, routine use might turn into drug addiction. An additional warning signal is certain changes in conduct. If speech and conduct adjustment substantially, especially a heightened tendency toward aggressiveness and high-risk conduct, it is necessary to end taking the substance.

Dangerous Consumption

While the stages of drug addiction are passed through, the individual's personal decisions and behavior become progressively dangerous, both to herself or himself and others. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 28.4 percent of young people between the ages of 21 and 25 drove a vehicle under the influence of illegal drugs in 2009. Good friends and loved ones are ideally suited to ascertain if ordinary patterns are modifying. Telltale signs of increasingly high-risk actions normally include:

• Driving while under the influence of a sedative drug
• Spending cash irresponsibly to obtain the substance
• Defensiveness in verbal exchanges
• Secretiveness
• Adjustments in appearance.
Adjustments in appetite, memory failure and degrading coordination are also warning signs of drug abuse. The line of demarcation dividing hazardous consumption and addiction is difficult and thin to identify. Finding help for yourself or a person you care about should not be postponed at this phase.


Of all the stages of drug addiction, dependence and use are the toughest to separate. The destructive repercussions of substance abuse are clearly perceptible in dependence.
Through all of this, though, the dependent differs from the addict by satisfying sufficient responsibilities to maintain the fundamental structure of his/her life. Although the trajectory of drug abuse phases is still headed downward, the appearance of functionality persists.


If adjustments are not initiated-- and assistance is not looked for-- the stages of drug addiction result in the most grievous phase: addiction itself. Now the person is psychologically and physically bound to continual consumption of the drug or alcohol. The stage of brain disease is achieved and the individual goes through numerous harmful results of prolonged substance abuse. The heart and circulatory system might be endangered, as can the respiratory tract. Immunity is compromised, permitting hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and some types of cancer to ravage the addict. Brain damage and mental deterioration can also happen.
At this depth, the person pursuing freedom from addiction will need to undergo detoxing. Because the addiction is of both mind and body, withdrawal syndromes are most effectively managed and treated by seasoned physicians. As soon as the enslaving drug has left the body, the drug abuser should collaborate with mental health professionals to determine the causes and character of the addiction. Honest and systematic therapy with mental health professionals, coupled with frequent participation in a support group has led lots of ostensibly hopeless addicts to lives free from substance abuse.

Without a sober self-assessment-- an sincere assessment of the signs of drug addiction-- a user could pass unwittingly into the more distressing stages of drug addiction.
Taking a drug or other substance on a regular basis does not always lead a person into addiction. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health declared that 28.4 percent of young people between the ages of 21 and 25 drove under the influence of illicit drugs in 2009. Of all the stages of drug dependence, use and addiction are the most challenging to separate. If adjustments are not made-- and assistance is not gotten-- the stages of substance addiction draw a person to the most harmful stage: addiction itself.

Structure and Statistics from:

Leave a Reply

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