Progression Of Abuse To Addiction

Stages of Addiction Few people take their first dose of a drug-- illegal or legal-- with the hope of getting addicted. 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 amount consumed prior to crossing the unseen line from freedom to enslavement.

While every distinct case may differ in time frame and intensity of dependency, some patterns are widespread among the entire pool of substance abusers. From the statements of addicts and those who care for them, clinicians are able to recognize benchmarks for the stages of drug addiction.

Experimenting With Substances

Addiction need not begin in youth. Even the elderly might take alcohol or drugs to soothe isolation. With no realistic self-assessment-- a truthful assessment of the signals of drug addiction-- an individual may pass unwittingly into the more distressing stages of drug addiction.

Consistent Consumption

Using a drug or other people substance regularly may not always lead a person into addiction. Some people are able to consume a substance continuously for a time span and after that end its consumption with negligible distress. The likelihood of addiction is based upon the length of the consumption and the potency of the dosages. Should the time-span continue indefinitely and the strength of the dose also increase, routine use could turn into substance addiction. Another cautionary sign is certain changes in conduct. If speech and conduct change substantially, especially a heightened propensity toward aggressiveness and unsafe behavior, it is necessary to stop taking the drug.

Hazardous Consumption

As the stages of drug addiction are traveled through, the person's personal choices and tendencies get progressively hazardous, 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.

• Driving a vehicle while under the influence of a sedative • Spending money irresponsibly to obtain the drug • Defensiveness in conversation • Secretiveness • Changes in appearance. Changes in appetite, memory failure and degrading coordination are also manifestations of substance abuse. The demarcation line seperating high-risk consumption and dependence is thin and difficult to distinguish. Finding help for oneself or somebody you care about ought not be postponed at this stage.


alcoholic problems

Of all the stages of substance use, dependence and addiction are the hardest to distinguish. The disastrous repercussions of substance abuse are definitely unmistakable in addiction. The addicted man or woman is regularly absent from their work thanks to repetitious use of the controlling drug. Over and above the employer, the drug abuser will periodically let commitments to family, friends, neighbors and society go by the wayside. The risky behaviors mentioned above become much more recurring too. Through it all, though, the dependent stands apart from the addict by satisfying enough commitments to preserve the fundamental structure of their life. The direction of drug abuse phases is still headed downward, the semblance of functionality persists.


If changes are not made-- and assistance is not secured-- the stages of drug addiction result in the most dangerous phase: addiction itself. With this the individual is mentally and physically bonded to ongoing use of the substance or alcohol. The point of brain disorders is reached and the victim is subject to numerous harmful effects of prolonged drug abuse. The heart and blood circulation system can be imperiled, as can the respiratory tract. The immune system is weakened, allowing hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and some types of cancer to ravage the addict. Brain damage and mental deterioration can also happen. Since the addiction is of both mind and body, withdrawal symptoms are best supervised and addressed by knowledgeable doctors. Once the addictive compound has left the physical body, the drug abuser can work with mental health professionals to isolate the origins and character of the addiction.

Without a realistic self-assessment-- an sincere evaluation of the signs of substance addiction-- an individual could pass unwittingly into the more severe stages of drug addiction. Using a drug or other substance on a regular basis does not inevitably lead a person into addiction. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health declared that 28.4 percent of young adults in between the ages of 21 and 25 operated a vehicle under the influence of illegal drugs in 2009. Of all the stages of drug addiction, use and dependence are the most difficult to separate. If adjustments are not initiated-- and assistance is not gotten-- the stages of drug addiction draw a person to the most harmful stage: addiction itself.

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abusing alcohol

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