Addiction is a mental illness that affects millions of Americans every day. Described as a “chronic, relapsing brain disease,” people with addiction seek drug and alcohol despite the harm it brings. Education is essential to prevent more cases of substance abuse disorder. Seek the education you need, and learn about the different stages of addiction, at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center. We offer a variety of treatment options including an outpatient treatment program.
The 5 Stages of Addiction
Different factors contribute to the development of addiction. From genetics to socioeconomic status, various influences affect your susceptibility to substance abuse disorder. However, it is the five stages of addiction that eventually lead you to addiction:
- First Use: This is the stage of experimentation. It involves not only being curious and trying drugs or alcohol. Even merely taking a medication prescribed by your physician is considered the first use. Whether it is for a medical need, due to peer pressure, or your sense of adventure, this can become your starting point to addiction.
- Continued Use: This step is the point when an individual now enjoys how the substance makes them feel. For a person with a prescription, they still want the medication despite no longer needing it. At this stage, the person notices they are bouncing back quicker than before after getting high. They developed tolerance, which creates a want to use more of the substance.
- Abuse: In this stage, the person uses drugs or alcohol more regularly. They continuously use substances despite the legal, social, and health consequences. By this time, they are abusing substances as a means of escape from serious problems. The different warning signs of addiction start to manifest at this stage.
- Dependence: Dependence is when the user becomes physically ill without taking drugs or alcohol. It’s the stage when they develop severe withdrawal symptoms. With the body and brain now accustomed to the substance, the person is now unable to function without it. The user can no longer feel normal without using drugs or alcohol.
- Addiction: The user is now at a full-blown addiction. Without drugs or alcohol, they can longer function in daily life. Even their relationships become strained as they abandon the things they used to do. Despite consequences such as dropping out of school or losing their job, they continue to abuse their chosen substance.
Signs of Substance Abuse Disorder
Knowing the different stages of addiction is crucial so you can know when help is needed. Along with learning the factors that affect its development, knowing the signs of substance abuse disorder is crucial as well. With this knowledge, you will be able to recognize that a person is developing addiction before it’s too late. A person who may have an addiction shows behaviors that include:
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Secretive or isolates activities
- Misses work or school
- Has work or school problems
- Relationship or marital problems
- Financial problems
- Legal problems
Addiction Treatment Programs to Help You Recover at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
If someone you know is developing an addiction, reaching out to a rehab center can help. People struggling with substance abuse cannot help themselves, as they often cannot accept that they have a problem. The withdrawal symptoms of substance abuse are also painful, which needs professional help.
At Georgia Addiction Treatment Center, you can take advantage of a holistic approach to treating substance use disorder. We provide you with the correct level of care and offer a wide range of treatments. Among the treatments we provide include:
Knowing the different stages of addiction can be a great help in providing the care you or a loved one needs. With help, recovery is not impossible. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our expert team of medical professionals at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center at 855.952.3546 for help.