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  • Writer's pictureCarenext Pune

6 Stages of Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

Alcohol is an addictive substance. Abuse of alcohol and other drugs may destroy families and reduce once-loving, accomplished people to hopeless shells of who they once were. The impact is catastrophic, but there is hope at the end of the road. Anyone can overcome addiction with the help and guidance of a substance abuse treatment program that vyasan mukti kendra provides.


Addicts and their families may find it helpful to comprehend the six phases of addiction recovery. Every level explains how to identify the issue, accept it, get ready for addiction therapy, and deal with alcohol and drug usage following treatment.


The six stages of addiction are:


1. Initiation.

2. Experimentation.

3. Regular Usage.

4. Risky Usage.

5. Addiction and Dependence.

6. Treatment and recovery.


Stage 1: Initiation


Initiation refers to the first phase of addiction when a person experiments with a substance for the first time. This can occur at any point in a person's life, although the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that most addicts used their drug of choice before the age of 18 and had a substance use problem by the time they were 20.


The reason behind teenage substance use can be many, but the top two reasons are curiosity and peer pressure. Children often indulge in alcohol and drugs because they want to fit in. The mere act of trying a substance does not guarantee that a person will become addicted to it. often, when a person tries a substance out of curiosity, they cease using it when their interest has been sated.


Stage 2: Experimentation


At this level, the user is testing the drug in various situations to see how it affects their life rather than just trying it on its own. Typically, during this stage, the drug is associated with social activities like having fun or destressing after a long day. It is used to improve party atmospheres or relieve tension related to homework in teenagers.


Most often, adults who experiment do so for fun or to relieve stress. At this stage, there is little to no craving for the substance.


Stage 3: Regular Use


As someone continues to experiment, their use of the substance normalizes and progresses from occasional to regular use. This doesn't imply that they use it every day; rather, it only suggests that there is some sort of pattern involved.


The usage pattern varies according to the individual, but in some cases, it can be that they take it every weekend or whenever they feel lonely, bored, or stressed out. Social drug users may then start using their drug of choice alone, eliminating the social component of their choice.


Although there isn't yet an addiction, the person is probably thinking about their preferred substance more often and may have started establishing a mental dependence on it.


Stage 4: Risky use


Although the distinction between regular use and risky use/abuse is highly blurry, it is typically understood as drug use that is persisted despite negative social and legal repercussions. What may have started off as a momentary means of escape can easily develop into more severe issues.


At this point, addiction warning signals such as yearning, obsession with the substance, and signs of depression, irritability, and exhaustion if the drug is not used will start to manifest.


Stage 5: Addiction and dependency


Addiction and dependency are words with different meanings but are often used interchangeably. Addiction is the situation when drug use no longer remains a choice. At this point, people feel that they cannot survive without their choice of drug or alcohol.


When confronted, they may compulsively lie about their drug usage and become easily agitated if their way of life is challenged in any way. At this point, users may also be so disconnected from the previous lives that they fail to see the harm that their actions are causing to their relationships.


Stage 6: Treatment and recovery


Regardless of the stage of drug usage, you're in, it's critical to get help as soon as possible, especially if you've gotten to the point where you can no longer stop using drugs on your own. If neglected, addiction is a chronic sickness that only gets worse.


Fortunately, addiction is a disease that can be treated. Drug addiction treatment comes in many different forms, such as inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and holistic therapies. Many reputed vyasan mukti kendra in Pune are established to rid people of all ages of alcohol and drug addiction.


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