Every road to recovery starts with someone who is willing to get better. Often, this willingness starts because a loved one or family member had the courage to confront the addict in their life. Early detection can go a long way in making an addict’s road to recovery a bit easier. Today, we will take a look at the five stages of addiction in hopes that others can recognize when they or someone they love is struggling with addiction.
Experimentation – A lot of alcohol and drug addicts start their usage as an experiment. They may know someone who has experimented with heroin so they give it a try or they may have been using lesser opioids like pain killers and decided to try heroin. However, experimentation often leads to full blown addiction. Everyone’s brain composition is different. For instance, kids in college who have viewed others drinking socially may choose to join along for some fun. However, for some people, it can be difficult to keep drinking strictly casual.
Regular Use – The next step after experimentation is incorporation of a substance into everyday use. For some, this is easier to hide than for others. Eventually, even functioning addicts will begin to show signs that they are using daily. These signs can include showing up late to functions, not showing up at all, a loss in response time and more.
Risky Use – The body will work up a tolerance before it provides the desired result of the addict. For instance, a person who drinks every day will slowly but surely build a tolerance for alcohol. This tolerance will force them to binge drink to the point of severe risk. The largest sign that someone has entered the risky use phase is that they begin to show large mood swings.
Dependence – When a full dependence on a substance sets in, an addict will choose their desire to obtain their drug of choice over everything else. With the body and mind completely reliant on the substance, withdrawal symptoms will cause large emotional swings.
Addiction – Finally, an addict will see the rest of what makes them a unique person fade way. Drug usage will take complete control of their lives and cause them to lose relationships with loved ones and fail to maintain any sense of a normal life. Ideally, an addict would enter our inpatient drug rehab program before they reach this stage, but it’s absolutely imperative that they do if they find themselves reaching this point.
Call our experts at (866) 308-2090 if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction. We look forward to stopping the vicious cycle.