Thursday, December 8, 2022

What Are The 4 Stages Of Addiction

Stage : Risky Use And Abuse

4 Stages of Addiction

At Stage 3: Risky Use and Abuse, the routine use of drugs or alcohol escalates. Now its much harder to stop using than it was before. Cravings may be very strong, and they may drive you to do things you wouldnt normally do so you can get your hands on more drugs or alcohol.

Throughout the stages of addiction, substance abusers increasingly use more drugs or alcohol as their tolerance increases. During the Risky Use and Abuse phase, some people combine drugs, take them more frequently or change how they take them so their highs are stronger. They may add new drugs to their regimen to mitigate the effects of other substances, like taking tranquilizers to fall asleep after a cocaine binge.

You may also find that youre using not just once a day anymore, but rather many times during the day just to get through your normal routine. Getting more drugs, planning your high, finding the money to pay for them and obsessing over your drug or drinking life takes priority over everything else and its as though life is on hold until you can get high again.

Risky use can also include using drugs when you know you shouldnt because it puts your life or someone elses life in danger. Driving under the influence, operating machinery while high or driving your kids to school while youre drunk are all signs that regular use has turned into abuse.

These Stages Are A Guide

Of course, these stages can be different for everyone and during the early stages, a user may fluctuate between two. The time spent in each stage will be different for everyone. It may take a few months or many years for an addict to arrive at stage six. There is no absolute, universal way to define the stages of addiction they are merely meant to be a guide to understanding the progression of drug use and the manifestation of the disease of addiction.

Additionally, researchers have studied and found that segments of the population are genetically predisposed to addiction, however it is not a guarantee that the individual will become an addict. Someone with no predisposition can just as easily develop an addiction under the correct circumstances.

Fortunately, you do not have to wait to become addicted to seek out help. Addiction experts are available to help you in any of these phases, from providing education and counseling in the experimental stage to helping you break your physical and psychological bond with drugs in the addiction stage. Knowing the five stages of addiction as a guide, if were being honest with ourselves, can save us from getting lost or lend someone else some well thought out directions.

Starting To Use Drugs Or Alcohol

The first stage of addiction starts with the first uses of drugs or alcohol. There are many reasons why people might drink or use drugs: for social gatherings, to unwind after a long day, for prescribed pain relief, and more. While this first stage of addiction can seem innocent enough, it can be beginning of much more serious concerns.

This is especially true for people who are at a higher risk of developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol. The causes behind addiction are vast but some of the most common include having:

  • A family history of substance abuse
  • Access to prescription drugs
  • Undiagnosed or untreated co-occurring mental health disorders

As a result of these risk factors, veterans are one of the groups of people who are most likely to struggle with substance use. Not only do veterans have less access to mental health care to receive treatment after their time serving, but there is also an expectation that veterans should silently deal with their pain. This harmful expectation is what makes the beginning stages of addiction so dangerous. Without any other outlet for negative feelings, substance abuse becomes the only way to cope.

The truth is that a lot of people who struggle with substance use feel as though they have a sense of control in the beginning stages of addiction. In step one, using drugs or alcohol is typically a choice. But this quickly takes a turn for the worst as addiction is something that is entirely out of the persons control.

Also Check: How To Deal With An Addictive Personality

Four Stages Of Drug Addiction: Recognizing The Signs

What are the progressive stages of drug addiction, especially as it plays out in the life of a teenager? My oldest son has been exhibiting some strange behavior lately, and I’m worried that he may be getting involved with some form of drug abuse. Can you provide me with any helpful hints and clues?

In most cases a full-blown drug problem develops or unfolds in four distinct stages. Each stage represents a deeper and more serious level of danger the farther the drug abuser moves along this path, the harder he will find it to turn back. This is why its so important for concerned parents to stay alert. If you see signs of an addiction beginning to develop, you need to intervene as early as possible.

If you need more information about the dangers of drug abuse, please feel free to get in touch with our Counseling department for a free consultation. Our trained counselors would be more than happy to speak with you over the phone and assist you in any way they can.

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The Four Stages Of Addiction

From Drug Use to Drug Abuse: The Stages of Addiction

With the exception of those who fall into addiction accidentally usually as a result of taking a prescription medication addiction to substances follows a formulaic path. What starts out as fun or relaxing can end up traumatic, and even deadly. It is helpful to be aware of these stages, and to use the knowledge to prevent the eventual outcome of addiction.

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Stage Two: Regular Or Social Use

In this stage, drugs and/or alcohol become a normal part of the users life. This may mean that they turn to the substance when feeling upset, or when in pain. Regardless of the reason, they have developed a pattern of use. The body and mind are not yet addicted to the substance, but regular use is leading to that road. During regular use, the mind is becoming used to rewards from drugs and/or alcohol, which may include pain and stress relief, relaxation, sleep, a high, and more. In this stage, the person using the substance still has control over their use and could likely stop if they felt as if they wanted to.

Stage : Problem/risky Use

As the name suggests, substance use at this point has begun to take a negative toll on your life. If you drive, you may do so under the influence. You may have gotten a DWI/DUI or had other negative legal consequences. Your performance at work or school may be suffering, along with your relationships with others. You may have changed your circle of friends and your behavior has almost certainly changed.

In short, risky or problem use threatens your safety and the safety of others but may not meet the criteria for a substance use disorder.

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Signs Of Codependency In Addiction

Things started out normal enough. You had a good relationship with your significant other or loved one. But then they started abusing drugs or alcohol and your whole relationship changed. Maybe you started covering for their actions, thinking theyre just stressed and going through a rough time. But before you knew it, your own behavior evolved into something else.

Over time, every thought and action was either in response to your loved ones destructive behaviors or in anticipation of what they may want or need. Your heart was in the right place. After all, its your duty to support the someone you love, isnt it? The truth is, codependency and addiction are a dangerous dynamic that can completely upend your relationship.

The first step of breaking codependency in addiction is recognition. In this post, well highlight some of the most common signs of codependency in addiction, so you and your loved can start on a path toward recovery and healing.

Stage Two: Early Alcoholic

Stages of Addiction: Stage 4 – Addicted

After you have suffered your first alcohol-related black out, you are in the early alcoholic stage. This stage is characterized by a growing discomfort with drinking combined with an inability to resist it. You may find yourself lying about drinking to friends or loved ones. You might also hide drinks, such as by spiking your soda or coffee when no one else is around. During this stage, your tolerance of alcohol continues to grow. You might also become obsessed with thoughts of alcohol.

Also Check: What Is The Number One Addiction In The World

What Are The Stages Of Change

The five stages of change are designed to identify how ready an individual is to accept help for their condition. It enables them to actively work toward changing it for the better. Below we have discussed in detail the main four stages addressed in Prochaska and DiClementes Stages of Change Model:

The Four Stages Of Alcoholism

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be an alcoholic, then recognizing the stages of alcoholism may help you weigh the options available to you for detoxification and treatment. The four phases of alcoholism were defined by E. Morton Jellinek, a scientific researcher who did extensive work on alcoholism and was a major contributor to the modern view of alcoholism as a biological, not moral, failing. The alcoholism stages are: pre-alcoholic, early alcoholic, middle alcoholic, and late alcoholic.

If you or a loved one show signs of being in any of the following stages of alcoholism, there are ways to get help today. Our admissions navigators are available 24/7 at Who Answers? Who answers the helpline calls. and can provide you with information on treatment options, recovery support systems and other aspects of recovery.

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Treatment For Substance Abuse

Have you been able to identify with any of the seven stages discussed today? If so, it may be time to reach out for professional help from an addiction treatment center.

At Brookdale Addiction Recovery, we can provide you with the individualized care you deserve, through our patient-centric approach to treatment. As each patient enters our program, they undergo a thorough evaluation by our medical and clinical team to construct comprehensive treatment plans tailored to fit their needs.

Overcoming a substance use disorder is no easy feat, but it is not impossible. With the proper help and support, you or your loved one can be well on your way to a new, vibrant liferecovered.

Please call our trusted Admissions Specialists today at to find out more about our program and the admissions process.

Breaking Free From The Stages Of Addiction

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Regardless of where you or your loved one might be in these stages of addiction, help is available to you. Heroes Mile is a facility that is made for veterans by veterans who understand just how challenging addiction and any co-occurring disorders can be. In addition to physical and emotional healing that occurs during the recovery process, the treatment options at Heroes Mile prepare each patient for life after rehab.

If you are looking for more information on the stages of addiction as well as how you can start addiction recovery today, give our facility a call at . Not quite ready to talk? Thats okayyou have the option to fill out a confidential contact form to express your experiences with the stages of addiction and all of your recovery goals.

for Veterans by Veterans

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How Your Body Adapts During The Stages Of The Addiction Cycle

Some people who are unfamiliar with addiction wonder why addicts just cant stop when they want to. After all, you can stop most unwanted behaviors. Whats different with addiction?

Your body goes through many changes during each phase of addiction. The human body is a miraculous creation. It works hard to maintain homeostasis, or balance. When something within its chemistry goes out of balance, it works overtime to compensate. When you start using drugs or alcohol, your body counteracts them to make sure important organs like your brain arent damaged.

For instance, the brain compensates to the introduction of drugs or alcohol by changing how many circulating neurotransmitters are available. It shuts down or opens up neurons to receive chemicals and altering the balance among the chemicals.

The liver also becomes more proficient at metabolizing the chemicals from substance abuse. Over time, however, it becomes less proficient and starts to break down under the strain of repeated overwork. Scars, called cirrhosis of the liver, may develop, which can seriously impair the livers functions and eventually cause death.

The adaptations help the body compensate in the short run, but as regular use turns into risky use, greater quantities of the same substances are needed to give users the same feeling. This is called tolerance.

The Four Stages Of The Addiction Cycle

There are four stages of the addiction cycle:

  • Experimentation
  • Risky Use/Abuse
  • Addiction and Dependency
  • Some experts split the phases of addiction into more steps, but the four outlined above represent the general stages of drug addiction as well as the stages of alcohol addiction.

    Even before people enter Stage 1 Experimentation, they may be preconditioned to try drugs based on their family history, friends, neighbors and other images, such as television, movies and music. The more kids are exposed to messages about the pleasures of drug use, the more they say they feel pressured into trying drugs or alcohol.

    Family also plays a crucial role in whether or not people experiment with drugs and alcohol. In families where parents are more relaxed about drug and alcohol use, children and teens are more likely to dabble and experiment with it.

    The opposite is also true, according to CNNs Schools of Thought. Families with a strong religious tradition or no-drug tolerance policies provide a stable, supportive background which keeps kids from experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

    Even if young people pass through their teenage years without trying drugs or alcohol, they may experiment while in college, or as young adults. Whether its smoking, drinking, taking drugs or other addictive behaviors, the stages of addiction are the same at any age, and no one is immune from becoming addicted.

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    Stages Of Addiction And Drug Rehab Recovery

    No matter which stage of drug use youre in, its important to seek help right away, especially if youve reached the stage where you are unable to stop using drugs on your own. Addiction is a progressive illness that, if left untreated, only gets worse. Thankfully, addiction is also a treatable illness.

    Dependency and addiction are words that are sometimes used interchangeably, and though the words are similar and frequently connected in drug use, they are different. One of the biggest differences is that when a person develops an addiction, their drug use is no longer a conscious choice. Up until that point, it remains at least a shadow of one.

    Recovery from an alcohol use disorder requires effort, time, willpower, and support. When you decide to enter a professional alcohol and drug treatment program, you will begin a journey through four distinct stages of addiction rehab recovery as you learn to develop a healthy and sober lifestyle.

    How Behavioral Health Professionals Can Help

    The Stages of Addiction | Beginnings Treatment

    The good news is that help is available. Behavioral health professionals can help people with addiction learn coping mechanisms that enable them to function without their substance. Through mental and emotional support, behavioral health professionals can help stop a patients downward spiral into addiction.

    Alvernia University offers a fully online behavioral health degree, which prepares students for graduate studies or careers in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, assistance programs, prevention and intervention centers, and other social agencies. The program takes place in a flexible and convenient online learning environment that accommodates students work and personal schedules.

    Recommended Reading: Why Is Addiction So Hard To Overcome

    Physical And Emotional Dependence

    After risky use of drugs and alcohol comes the dependence stage of addiction. Developing a physical and emotional dependence on drugs or alcohol is an inevitability for most people who struggle with addiction. Simply put, the more of the addictive substance one uses, the more they begin to rely on that substance to function.

    Research proves that drug dependency, for example, can have such a strong influence on a persons body and mind that it actually changes the way their brain functions. Drug and alcohol dependency can cause irreversible brain damage that leads to memory loss, worsening mental health concerns, and physical deterioration.

    The phases of drug dependence dont just include the physical side of things, of course. Mental and emotional dependency on these addictive substances can be just as serious. For veterans who turn to drugs or alcohol during times of emotional distress, recovering from the mental health aspect of addiction can seem nearly impossible. This is because they have been relying on addictive substances to numb the pain of untreated mental health issues.

    The Importance Of Aftercare

    Even when someone has reached maintenance, it doesnt mean theyre cured of addiction. Like diabetes or heart disease, its a chronic condition that requires major lifestyle changes to keep under control. As such, its crucial that people in addiction recovery make continuous active efforts to maintain sobriety. Complacency or a sense that the work is done once you reach maintenance is often a one-way ticket to recovery relapse.

    Aftercare helps you stay on track and keep practicing what you learned while in rehab. Whether its individual therapy, support groups, 12-step meetings or an outpatient treatment program, we recommend staying in some form of aftercare for at least one or two years after you complete a course of rehab program.

    Also Check: How To Stop Alcohol Addiction

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