The second stage represents a kind of crossroads on the road for many people. While some people can use drugs or alcohol on a regular basis without developing an addiction, the risk of dependence increases considerably during this stage. Like the risk of engaging in high-risk behaviors, such as driving under the influence of alcohol. Occasional drinking or drugs become commonplace, such as sleeping or brushing your teeth.
Substance use becomes another part of the routine and, before you can stop using them, you are fooled by a false sense of security that it will be easy to quit smoking. Some people during this stage may develop feelings of guilt or shame for their behavior, but they will usually continue to justify it or make excuses. Once the final stage is reached, it has entered addiction and total dependence on the substance. It's no longer a question of whether you're addicted to drugs or alcohol.
When you don't receive them, your body informs you in the form of symptoms such as tremors, sweats, tremors, and other frantic behaviors. You spend most of your time drunk or high, and you don't want anything to get in the way. This is the stage when even if someone tells you that your life depends on stopping your behavior, you can't. Fortunately, no matter what stage of addiction you are in, help is available.
Addiction is a progressive disease that only worsens when left untreated. If you're ready to admit you have a problem and get on the road to recovery, talk to one of our compassionate counselors today about substance abuse recovery in Tampa. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, talk to a specialist about drug addiction treatment in Tampa. To schedule a consultation with Phoenix House Florida, request an appointment today.
Many people will never get past Stage 1 experimentation, but most people who progress beyond Stage 2 will actually develop an addiction. Below is a breakdown of the 4 stages of drug addiction so you can learn how to identify the symptoms and signs of addiction, or in the event that you have already progressed, what to do about it. Although it does not necessarily lead to total addiction, drug experimentation is in fact considered the first stage of addiction. Particularly among young people, experimentation is often accepted or even encouraged, but it is important to remember that experimentation is not always harmless.
Especially if teens have certain risk factors for addiction, experimentation can be an easy path to a prolonged future of substance use disorders. During the fourth stage, the addict has reached a point that they would never have imagined before when he started experimenting. If they are able to identify your problem, they are rarely willing or able to take steps to correct it. During stage 4, peer and family support is important, but it is also a serious emotional strain and sometimes even an impossibility.
An addiction does not form spontaneously during the night. Instead, it is the result of a long process of repeated substance abuse that gradually changes the way a person views a drug and the way his body reacts to it. This process is linear and has the same progression for each person, although the duration of each step in that progression can differ greatly depending on the person, the dose and the type of drug being abused. Since this process follows a pattern, it is possible to divide it into the stages of an addiction, starting with the first use of a person and leading to the addiction itself.
While there is some debate about how many stages there are for addiction, seven is one of the most popular numbers to chart the process. Understanding each stage and the behaviors associated with each of them is a valuable way to identify when someone is at risk of developing an addiction or if they have already developed it. As each stage progresses, so do the dangers associated with drug use, as the ability to stop using the drug becomes much more difficult. If circumstances coincide and the individual continues to take the drug, he or she may soon be in the second stage of addiction.
In the experimentation stage, the user has stopped trying the drug on their own and is now taking the drug in different contexts to see how it affects their life. Usually, at this stage, the drug is connected to social actions, such as experiencing pleasure or relaxing after a long day. For teens, it is used to improve party environments or control the stress of schoolwork. Adults mainly enter into experimentation, either for pleasure or to combat stress.
During stage 2, there is little or no desire to use the drug and the individual will continue to make a conscious decision whether to use or not. They can use it in an impulsive or controlled manner, and the frequency of both options depends mainly on the nature of the person and the reason why they consume it. There is no dependence at this time, and the individual can still easily give up the drug if he decides. As a person continues to experiment with a substance, its use normalizes and shifts from periodic use to regular use.
This does not mean that they wear it every day, but that there is some kind of pattern associated with it. The pattern varies from person to person, but some cases could be that they are taking it every weekend or during periods of emotional distress such as loneliness, boredom or stress. At this point, users of social networks can start taking the drug of their choice on their own, in turn, removing the social element from their decision. The use of the drug can also become problematic at this time and have a negative impact on the person's life.
For example, the person may start showing up for work hungover or high after a night of drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana. There is still no addiction at this time, but it is likely that the individual will think about the substance he has chosen most often and may have started to develop a mental confidence in it. When this happens, quitting smoking becomes more difficult, but it is still a manageable goal without outside help. With stage 4, the person's regular use has continued to grow and now often has a negative impact on his life.
While a periodic hangover at work or an event is acceptable for Stage 3, in Stage 4 instances like that become commonplace and their effects become evident. Many drinkers are arrested for DUI right now, and all users are likely to see how their work or school performance is noticeably affected. Frequent use can also cause financial difficulties where there were previously none. The mark of entering Stage 5 is that a person's drug use is no longer recreational or medical, but rather because he becomes dependent on the substance of choice.
This is sometimes seen as a broad stage that includes the formation of tolerance and dependence, but by now, the individual should have already developed a tolerance. As a result, this stage should only be marked by a dependence, which can be physical, psychological, or both. For a physical dependence, the individual has abused the chosen drug long enough so that his body has adapted to his presence and has learned to trust it. If the use is stopped abruptly, the body will react by introducing the withdrawal.
This is characterized by a negative rebound full of uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous symptoms, which must be handled by medical professionals. In most cases, people choose to continue using it, rather than seeking help, because it is the easiest and quickest way to escape abstinence. With some medications, especially prescription drugs, the individual can enter this stage through psychological dependence before a physical one is formed. When this happens, the individual believes they need the drug in order to function as a normal person.
In this case, the drug commonly becomes a coping mechanism for difficult times, and then extends to cases where it really should not be needed. For example, a patient taking analgesics may begin to over-medicate, since he perceives moderate pain as severe pain. In any case, the individual takes the medication because he has come to an understanding that he needs it in some way to continue through life. Once this mentality takes hold, addiction is almost certain.
Dependence and addiction are words that are sometimes used interchangeably, and although the words are similar and frequently related 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. Until that moment, it's still at least a shadow of one. At this stage, people feel that they can no longer cope with life without access to the chosen drug, and as a result, they lose full control of their choices and actions.
The behavioral changes that began during Stage 4 will grow to extremes, and the user is likely to abandon their old hobbies and actively avoid their friends and family. They may compulsively lie about their drug use when asked and are quickly agitated if their lifestyle is threatened in any way. Users, at this point, may also be so out of touch with their old life that they do not recognize how their behaviors are harmful and the effects it has had on their relationships. Another term for addiction is a substance use disorder, which is an accurate description because it is a chronic disease that will present risks for life.
Even after a person stops using a drug and has undergone treatment, there will always be a danger of relapse. This means that one must commit to a complete lifestyle change to sustain one's recovery life. The final stage of addiction is the breaking point in a person's life. Once here, the individual's addiction has grown out of their control and now represents a serious danger to their well-being.
It is sometimes referred to as the crisis stage, because at this point the addict is at greatest risk of suffering a fatal overdose or other dramatic event in life. Of course, while the crisis is the worst scenario for this stage, there is also a positive alternative that fits here. Whether on their own or as a result of a crisis, this is when many people first seek help from a rehabilitation center to begin treatment. As a result, this stage can mark the end of your addiction, as well as the beginning of a new life without drugs or alcohol, which is full of hope for the future.
Have you been able to identify yourself with any of the seven stages discussed today? If so, it may be time to ask an addiction treatment center for professional help. At Brookdale Addiction Recovery, we can provide you with the individualized care you deserve, through our patient-centered approach to treatment. As each patient enters our program, our medical and clinical team thoroughly evaluates them to create comprehensive treatment plans tailored to their needs. Each of these stages will show symptoms of addiction development, but it will only be noticed if you are interested in what to look for.
The most important symptoms that you should pay attention to include excessive experimentation, constant use in daily life, changes in behavior, physical side effects that represent increasing dependence, and, of course, the inability of a loved one to stop using. Very few people set out to become addicted. A more common scenario is for a friend or family member to offer the consumer a substance, usually with the stated intention that the use of the drug is fun or useful. A candidate may see this case of getting high as a one-time thing, but the first time may be what opens the door to the downward spiral of addiction.
Peer pressure is the main culprit of this type of experimentation. Young people, in particular, are in a crucial period of development when it comes to the need to feel accepted by their peers. However, while teens have a reputation for agreeing with the crowd, even adults are not immune to this pressure. Measurable stress levels tend to increase, for everyone, when we experience that we are not accepted within a group.
Those who don't have a good defense against social ostracism often use a drug offered to feel included. The experimentation stage begins when you start using drugs or alcohol in specific situations, such as teenagers in party settings or adults in times of particular stress. Even if you consume a lot in a particular case, the decision to use it is made in the rational brain (ie,. Choose to use drugs or alcohol instead of being unconsciously governed by an automatic response).
You can even take a binge (ie. A man who has five or more drinks (or a woman who drinks four or more drinks in two hours) without leaving the experimentation stage. Understanding the stages of addiction is important to help you understand how substance use can become something that harms your relationships, sense of self and overall health. If you or a loved one is on the road to addiction, The Recovery Village can help.
Our compassionate intake coordinators can answer your questions and help you understand treatment options that may work well for your specific situation. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as “a chronic and relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Addiction includes dependence on alcohol, opioids and nicotine, among many other substances. As addiction takes hold, people exhibit certain behaviors, says National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
As people become regular users, they begin to show a pattern. Sometimes they can be used only on weekends or only at night while spending time with friends, but often these people begin to show signs of addiction as the substance becomes more important in their lives. The body may stop working normally, causing it to need more medication to recover homeostasis. It is helpful to be aware of these stages and to use knowledge to avoid the end result of addiction.
Friends and family can take a backseat by partnering with others who are taking and giving the medication. Just because someone has tried a drug does not mean that they are sure of developing an addiction. Even experimenting with some drugs can be much more dangerous and more likely to lead to addiction than regular use of others. .