Stages of Addiction Few people take their first dose of a drug– legal or illegal– with the hope of getting addicted. Yet for 2009, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration declares 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 quickly addiction can take hold and with the quantity ingested prior to crossing the unseen threshold from freedom to slavery.

While every individual case may be different in time frame and ferociousness of dependency, some patterns are common within the complete pool of substance abusers. From the statements of addicted people and those who treat them, researchers can identify benchmarks for the stages of substance addiction.

Experimenting With Drugs

Experimentation may have manifold different motivations. Among young people, peer pressure is a significant reason for partaking in their initial puff, drink or snort. On the other hand, addiction need not start in youth. A middle-aged or older individual might try out prescription pain relievers to manage chronic aches and discomfort. Even the elderly may take alcohol or drugs to soothe being alone. These correspond to significant moments in life when a substance is taken to force a physical, emotional or social condition a bit more bearable. Disconnected instances of use may or may not be followed up with greater repetition or amounts. With no realistic self-assessment a truthful analysis of the symptoms of drug addiction an individual might pass unwittingly into the more acute stages of drug addiction.

Regular Use

Using a drug or other people substance on a regular basis does not automatically lead a person into addiction. Some can take a substance continuously for a period of time and after that discontinue its use with negligible distress. Should the timeframe extends indefinitely and the strength of dosages rise likewise, routine usage can turn into substance addiction.

Dangerous Usage

While the stages of drug addiction are gone through, the person’s personal choices and behavior become progressively dangerous, both to herself or himself and other people. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health declared that 28.4 percent of young adults between the ages of 21 and 25 drove a vehicle under the influence of illicit substances in 2009. Close friends and family members are best fit to ascertain whether usual patterns are converting. Indications of increasingly high-risk actions include things like:

• Driving a vehicle while under the influence of a sedative • Spending money recklessly to obtain the substance • Defensiveness in conversation • Hiding things • Adjustments in appearance. Changes in desire for food, memory failure and degrading fine motor skills are also indicators of drug abuse. The line of demarcation between unsafe consumption and addiction is difficult and thin to differentiate. Finding help for yourself or somebody you care about ought not be delayed at this stage.


Of all the stages of drug dependence, addiction and use are the most challenging to distinguish. The disastrous repercussions of substance abuse are already evident in addiction. The addicted man or woman is frequently absent from work because of repetitious consumption of the controlling substance. Over and above the employer, the drug abuser will sometimes allow obligations to family, good friends, neighbors and society go by the wayside. The risky behaviors recorded above become more regular. Through it all, though, the dependent differs from the addict by meeting enough commitments to maintain the fundamental framework of his/her life. Although the direction of drug abuse stages remains headed downward, the semblance of normalcy lingers.


If adjustments are not made– and aid is not looked for– the stages of drug addiction lead to the most severe stage: addiction itself. Now the person is mentally and physically bonded to ongoing consumption of the drug or alcohol. The stage of brain disorder is reached and the patient is prone to numerous damaging results of long-term substance abuse. At this particular depth, the individual seeking liberty from addiction will need to go through detoxing. Since the addiction is of both mind and body, withdrawal manifestations are best supervised and treated by seasoned medical professionals. As soon as the addictive substance has exited the body, the substance abuser should work with mental health professionals to isolate the root causes and character of the addiction. Honest and systematic therapy with mental health professionals, merged with frequent participation in a support group has led numerous seemingly irredeemable addicts to lives free from drug abuse. sons of liberty

Without a sober self-assessment– an honest evaluation of the signs of substance addiction– an individual can pass unwittingly into the more intense stages of drug addiction. Using a drug or other chemical substance on a routine basis does not always entrap an individual 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 a vehicle under the influence of illicit drugs in 2009. Of all the stages of drug use, dependence and addiction are the most difficult to demarcate. If changes are not made– and assistance is not gotten– the stages of substance addiction draw a person to the most dangerous stage: addiction itself.


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