What Are The 7 Stages Of Drug Addiction?

Stages Of Drug Addiction

Introduction- Stages Of Drug Addiction

Addiction problems do not appear out of the blue.- Stages Of Drug Addiction

Rather, it results from an extended period of continuous substance use that progressively changes an individual’s perception of a substance and its impact on physical and mental health.

This is a linear process that follows the same path for everyone, albeit the length of each step varies widely depending on the individual, dosage, and type of drug being abused.

Since this process follows a pattern, it may be broken down into stages of addiction, beginning with a person’s initial use and progressing to addiction itself.

There is a rehab in Los Angeles by Ocean Recovery, and if you want more information on this phenomenon, you can check their drug addiction treatment approaches. Keep scrolling this article and find out all stages of drug addiction here.

What Are The 7 Stages Of Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction does not happen because you lack willpower. It is more than that. This is why you must know all about the 7 stages of drug addiction before you stigmatize people who go through this phase. 

Stage 1: Initiation

The initial stage of addiction is known as initiation, and it occurs when a person uses a substance for the first time. 

This can occur at any point in a person’s life, but according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most people who develop an addiction do so before the age of 18 and have a substance use disorder by the age of 20.

Teenagers experiment with drugs for a variety of reasons, but two of the most prevalent are curiosity and peer pressure. 

This latter decision is taken with the goal of better fitting in with that particular set of peers.

Stage 2: Experimentation

The user has progressed beyond simply trying the substance on its own and is now experimenting with it in various settings to discover how it affects their life. 

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In general, the substance is associated with social acts at this stage, such as experiencing pleasure or unwinding after a hard day. 

Teenagers use it to improve party atmospheres or relieve tension from studies. Adults primarily engage in exploration for its fun or to relieve stress.

There are little to no urges for the drug throughout Stage 2, and the user must still make a conscious decision about whether or not to use it.

Stage 3: Regular Use

The use of a substance gets normalized as a person continues to experiment with it, and it progresses from occasional to regular use. 

This does not imply that they utilize it daily but instead that there is a pattern. 

The pattern varies according to the person, but some examples include taking it every weekend or during times of mental distress such as loneliness, boredom, or stress. 

At this moment, social users can start taking their substance on their own, removing the social element from their decision.

Stage 4: Risky Use

With Stage 4, the individual’s regular use has progressed and is now having a detrimental impact on their life regularly. 

While a once-in-a-while hangover at work or showing alcoholism symptoms is tolerable in Stage 3, it becomes a frequent occurrence in Stage 4, and its consequences become evident. 

Many drinkers are arrested for DUI at this time, and their work or school performance will suffer as a result. In addition, frequent use may also result in financial troubles where none previously existed.

People on the outside will most likely notice a change in the user’s conduct at this time, even if the user is unaware of it.

Stage 5: Dependence

When a person reaches Stage 5, their drug usage is no longer recreational or medical but rather due to a dependency on the substance of choice. 

This is sometimes considered a wide stage that encompasses the development of tolerance and reliance, but the individual should have already developed tolerance. 

As a result, this stage should only be defined by a physical, psychological, or both reliance.

When it comes to physical dependence, the person has overused their chosen drug for long enough that their body has become accustomed to it and has learned to rely on it.

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Stage 6: Addiction

Though the terms are similar and are commonly associated with drug usage, they are distinct. 

One of the most significant distinctions is that drug usage is no longer a conscious decision when someone develops an addiction. At the very least, it is a shadow of one up until that point.

Individuals at this stage believe they can no longer cope with life without their preferred drug, and as a result, they lose all control over their decisions and behaviors. 

The user will likely give up their old activities and aggressively avoid friends and family due to the behavioral adjustments that occurred in Stage 4.

Stage 7: Crisis

The last stage of addiction is when a person’s life comes to a halt. Once there, the person’s addiction has spiraled out of control and poses a major threat to their health. 

It’s also known as the crisis stage since the addict is at the most significant risk of dying from an overdose or experiencing another traumatic life event at this period.

While a crisis is a worst-case scenario for this period, there is also a positive alternative. 

Many people first seek help from a rehab clinic to begin receiving treatment, either on their own or due to a crisis.

The Bottom Line

Drug addiction can happen due to various reasons. For example, some people seek refuge in drugs because of underlying mental health issues, and some people simply try them for fun.

However, it does not take much time for the fun to turn into a full-fledged addiction, and the stages mentioned above must have clarified that ideal for you by now.

So, next time you meet an addiction patient, try to put yourself in their shoes and think about the 7 stages that led them where they are today. Then, it will be a better approach to interact with them instead of shaming them for their actions.

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