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Stages Of Addiction 1st To Last A Primer

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 quickly addiction can take hold and with the amount consumed prior to passing the invisible threshold from freedom to enslavement.

While each individual case may vary in time frame and ferociousness of dependency, some patterns are standard among the entire pool of drug abusers. Through the statements of addicted people and the professionals who treat them, clinicians are able to uncover benchmarks for the phases of substance addiction.

Experimenting With Drugs

Addiction does not have to start in youth. Even the elderly might take alcohol or drugs to take the edge off loneliness. Without a realistic self-assessment-- a truthful assessment of the signals of drug addiction-- a user can pass unwittingly into the more distressing stages of drug addiction.

Consistent Consumption

Taking a drug or other people substance regularly may not necessarily lead an individual into addiction. Some can consume a substance continuously for a period and after that end its use with little or no discomfort. The likelihood of dependence is based on the duration of the use period and the strength of the dosages. Should the duration extend indefinitely and the potency of the dose increase likewise, routine usage could turn into prescription addiction. An additional cautionary signal is certain adjustments in behavior. If speech and conduct change significantly, particularly a raised propensity toward aggression and unsafe conduct, it is necessary to cease using the substance.

Dangerous Consumption

While the stages of drug addiction are passed through, the individual's personal decisions and behavior become increasingly hazardous, both to himself or herself and other people. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 28.4 percent of young adults between the ages of 21 and 25 drove a vehicle under the influence of illegal substances in 2009.

• Operating a vehicle while under the influence of a depressant • Using money recklessly to obtain the substance • Defensive during verbal exchanges • Hiding things • Changes in appearance. Changes in appetite, memory failure and deteriorating fine motor skills are also symptoms of substance abuse. The demarcation line between hazardous consumption and dependence is difficult and thin to distinguish. Finding help for yourself or somebody you care about should not be put off at this phase.


Of all the stages of substance addiction, use and dependence are the most difficult to demarcate. The destructive consequences of substance abuse are already observable in addiction. The addicted person is repeatedly absent from their work due to repetitive usage of the controlling drug. Over and above the employer, the drug abuser will sometimes let responsibilities to family, good friends, neighbors and society go by the wayside. The high-risk conducts mentioned above become much more regular too. Through all of this, though, the dependent stands apart from the addict by fulfilling sufficient responsibilities to preserve the fundamental structure of his/her life. Even though the trajectory of drug abuse phases remains headed downward, the appearance of normalcy lingers.


If changes are not initiated-- and aid is not looked for-- the stages of substance addiction result in the most harmful stage: addiction itself. Now the user is mentally and physically bound to ongoing use of the drug or alcohol. The point of brain disorders is arrived at and the patient is subject to many harmful results of long-term substance abuse. The cardiovascular system and circulatory system might be endangered, as can the respiratory tract. The immune system is weakened, permitting hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and some forms of cancer to devestate the addict. Brain damage and mental deterioration can also take place. Since the addiction is of both mind and body, withdrawal manifestations are best managed and addressed by seasoned doctors. When the addictive compound has been cleaned from the body, the substance abuser can work with mental health professionals to isolate the origins and character of the addiction. sons of liberty

Without a sober self-assessment-- an sincere analysis of the signs of substance addiction-- a user can pass unknowingly into the more intense stages of drug addiction. Using a drug or other chemical substance on a routine basis does not inevitably lead an individual into addiction. 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 illicit drugs in 2009. Of all the stages of drug use, addiction and dependence are the toughest to differentiate. If adjustments are not made-- and aid is not looked for-- the stages of substance addiction draw a person to the most dangerous stage: addiction itself.

Structure and Statistics from: http://www.samhsa.gov/

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