Addiction doesn’t happen all at once. It is a process of someone slowly increasing their alcohol or drug intake regularly until their brain becomes dependent on it. The stages of addiction can occur so slowly that a person doesn’t realize they have a problem. Only when their addiction starts affecting them and others, do they finally do something about it.
We’ve designed our addiction recovery centers to help clients unravel the stages of addiction and restore them to life without substance abuse. Understanding the stages of addiction can help a person identify the root causes of the problem and seek the right treatment to manage the symptoms without relapse. For more information about how our addiction treatment center can help you, contact us today at 833.631.0525.
What Are the 5 Stages of Addiction?
Stage 1: Introduction and Experimentation
Many people are introduced to drugs during adolescence or early adulthood. They may be curious about alcohol or smoking pot. They may also experiment with cocaine, meth, or heroin. During this stage, they want to know what it is like to get high or feel a certain way. Experimentation doesn’t mean that a person will be addicted. However, it is the first step to dependency.
Step 2: Social Use or Regular Use
A person who enjoyed using a substance the first time is likely to return to it. For some, it means drinking more at social events. For others, they may choose to isolate themselves while shooting up or snorting cocaine. They may develop other habits like smoking cigarettes. Whatever the circumstance, using the substance becomes more habitual.
Step 3: Problem Use and Risky Behavior
The earliest stages of addiction often include cravings for more of the substance. A person may binge drink multiple times a month or increase their dosage of prescription medication. They may also engage in risky behavior associated with using drugs or alcohol, such as drinking and driving or becoming more sexually active while smoking pot.
Step 4: Addiction
The user may get to the point where they are using the substance once or multiple times per day. They have formed a habit that has been going on for several months. They may also be obsessed with the drug or alcohol to the extent that using it has become a lifestyle. Furthermore, they can’t quit the addiction regardless of how many times they try.
Step 5: Dependency
Once the brain has been exposed to a substance multiple times, it becomes attached to the substance. The person using the drug or alcohol can’t stop and, in many cases, doesn’t want to. Doing so will cause withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings. The body is so used to having the substance in the system that the person can’t function without it. By this point, it has become evident that they need help at an addiction treatment center.
Treatment for Drug or Alcohol Addiction
Regardless of the severity or duration of addiction, recovery is possible through comprehensive substance abuse treatment programs. Treatment may include:
- A drug or alcohol detox center
- 30, 60, or 90-day rehab
- Aftercare programs
- Inpatient or outpatient treatment
- Evidence-based treatment
- Holistic therapies
- Dual diagnosis
The type of treatment a person receives depends on the circumstances of the addiction. A treatment specialist can work with an individual to determine the appropriate care for both addiction and any mental disorders. With the right treatment, lifelong recovery is possible.
Learn More About the 5 Stages of Addiction at Amatus Recovery Centers
If you would like to learn more about the five stages of addiction or need help for substance abuse, contact Amatus Recovery Centers. We offer an array of addiction treatment therapies for all types of conditions. Contact Amatus Recovery Centers at 833.631.0525 to get started with your treatment program today.