Stages From 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 swiftly addiction can take hold and with the amount consumed before crossing the unseen threshold from freedom to slavery.

While every distinct instance may differ in time frame and intensity of dependency, a few patterns are standard within the total pool of substance abusers. Out of the accounts of addicted people and those who treat them, clinicians can uncover benchmarks for the phases of drug addiction.

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Experimenting With Drugs

Addiction does not have to begin in adolescence. Even seniors may use alcohol or substances to soothe isolation. With no honest self-assessment-- a candid assessment of the signs of drug addiction-- a person can pass unwittingly into the more severe stages of drug addiction.

Consistent Use

Using a drug or other substance on a consistent basis does not necessarily lead an individual into addiction. Some people can take a drug continuously for a period and after that end its consumption with little or no discomfort. Should the time-span extends indefinitely and the strength of doses rise likewise, routine usage could transform right into substance addiction.

Unsafe Use

While the stages of drug addiction are passed through, the person's personal decisions and tendencies become progressively unsafe, both to himself or herself and others. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 28.4 percent of young people between the ages of 21 and 25 drove under the influence of illegal substances in 2009.

• Driving a vehicle while under the influence of a depressant • Using money foolishly to obtain the drug • Defensive during verbal exchanges • Secrecy • Changes in look. Adjustments in desire for food, memory failure and worsening coordination are also indicators of substance abuse. The demarcation line between unsafe use and dependence is difficult and thin to identify. Getting help for oneself or a person you love should not be postponed at this phase.

Dependency

Of all the stages of substance dependence, addiction and use are the most difficult to distinguish. The devastating penalties of drug abuse are definitely observable in dependency. The dependent person is frequently absent from their work because of repetitive usage of the controlling drug. Over and above the employer, the drug abuser may occasionally let obligations to family members, close friends, neighbors and society go by the wayside. The hazardous behaviors noted above become more habitual. Through it all, though, the dependent differs from the addict by satisfying enough commitments to preserve the fundamental structure of his or her life. Although the direction of drug abuse phases remains headed downward, the semblance of functionality persists.

Addiction

If changes are not initiated-- and assistance is not looked for-- the stages of substance addiction result in the most serious stage: addiction itself. Now the individual is mentally and physically bound to uninterrupted use of the drug or alcohol. The stage of brain disorders is reached and the individual undergoes a number of destructive effects of long-term drug abuse. The cardiovascular system and blood circulation system may be compromised, as can the respiratory system. Immunity is diminished, allowing hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and some kinds of cancer to ravage the addict. Brain damage and dementia can also happen. Because the addiction is of both body and mind, withdrawal manifestations are best overseen and addressed by seasoned physicians. Once the addictive substance has left the body, the substance abuser can work with psychotherapists to isolate the root causes and nature of the addiction.

Without a candid self-assessment-- an sincere analysis of the signs of drug addiction-- an individual can pass unwittingly into the more intense stages of drug addiction. Taking a drug or other substance on a routine basis does not automatically lead an individual into addiction. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 28.4 percent of young adults in between the ages of 21 and 25 drove a vehicle under the influence of illegal drugs in 2009. Of all the stages of drug dependence, use and addiction are the toughest to differentiate. If changes are not initiated-- and counsel is not looked for-- the stages of substance addiction lead to the most harmful stage: addiction itself.

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

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