Understanding the Stages of Addiction

Many factors can contribute to addiction. It’s never a simple process to start on the path to addiction or the path to recovery. One of the steps you should take is understanding what the stages of addiction are. When you do, you’ll have the ability to understand what it’s going to take to overcome it through effective addiction treatment. Alina Lodge can help you with that.

Stages of Addiction Explained

How does a person become addicted to drugs or alcohol? Why do some people become addicted, and others do not? It’s hard to understand this without seeing what happens during the stages of addiction. Here’s what may happen.

Stage 1: Drug Experimentation

At first, a person uses the drug to see what would happen. This is not an addiction at this point. Many people will never move beyond this stage. Others, especially those who receive encouragement for engaging, may continue their use. It’s possible to say that some people consider experimentation to be acceptable. Yet, in teens especially, this can lead to a long future of drug abuse.

Stage 2: Social Use

This can also be called “regular use.” At this stage, a person is engaging in the use of the drug on a routine basis. They have not developed dependence yet, but there is a very real risk of that happening at this stage. Many people will start increasing use at this stage. Some will also engage in high-risk behaviors because they are using so much or so often.

Stage 3: Risky Use

The third of these stages of addiction is when drug abuse occurs. It can be hard to tell when stage two becomes stage three. However, during this stage, some evident changes have likely happened:

  • The user has begun to prioritize drug use over other things.
  • The user has become unafraid of the consequences of their use.
  • The user experiences physical cravings for the drugs when they do not have them.
  • The user experiences fatigue or irritability when they do not have them.

If you or someone you know is experiencing the above, it is important to reach out for professional addiction help before full-blown dependency occurs.

Stage 4: Dependency Occurs

Drug addiction and chemical dependency occur in this stage. A person continues to use the drug even when they understand and recognize the risk of doing so. They may have experienced job loss, struggle with relationships, and even faced other challenges resulting from their drug use, yet continue to use. At this stage, a person cannot stop themselves from using because of the dependency present.

Interrupting the Stages of Addiction

At every step in this process, family and friends can help a person to stop using. It should not be seen as acceptable to experiment with drugs. Rather, it should be an opportunity for you to step in and tell your loved one just how difficult the road forward will likely be. Of course, that’s not always possible to stay, and change is difficult. Yet, it is possible to prevent a worsening of the condition at any stage by taking action.

Getting Addiction Treatment Should Not Wait

It is always a good idea to encourage a loved one to get into drug and alcohol treatment if they are using. If you are using and you recognize the problems that stem from it, take action. Get help. Alina Lodge can provide you with the support you need through programs such as:

  • Drug and alcohol detox services
  • Residential treatment programs
  • Long-term drug and alcohol treatment programs
  • Dual diagnosis treatment programs

Reach Out to Alina Lodge to Learn More About the Stages of Addiction Today

The stages of addiction are important to understand. Yet, what’s important for you right now is to get the care you need. Addiction treatment can provide you with the healing you need. Learn more about how we can help you. Call Alina Lodge at 833.685.1700 or connect with us online right now.

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