With so many people struggling with addiction, how do people go from abstaining to developing a problem? There are many stages of addiction, each with its symptoms and signs to monitor. With the help of addiction treatment programs in Texas, at Santé Center for Healing, residents can get the help they need.
First Use and Experimentation
Many people will try alcohol or drugs for the first time before reaching adulthood. This stage can generally happen during the teen years. Teenagers and adolescents try alcohol and drugs for different reasons, including:
- Friends Are Doing It, and They Feel Peer Pressure
- Lack of Development in the Prefrontal Cortex to Manage Decision Making
Once someone has tried drugs or alcohol for the first time, they could experiment more or choose to stop if they have satisfied their curiosity. This can depend on the:
- Drug’s Availability in the Community
- Whether Friends Are Using
- The Family Environment
- Other Mental Health Conditions
This experimentation stage begins when someone starts to use alcohol and drugs at specific times, such as a teen at a party or an adult during a time of stress. Use in this stage is fun, and there aren’t any consequences. You would only think of the substance every so often, and there aren’t cravings. This first stage of addiction is hard to catch, especially if a loved one is trying the substance for the first time. It’s also hard to determine if it’s experimental or will turn into something more serious. If someone is experimenting, you should watch out for reasons why and how much they are using to do so and seek help from a substance abuse treatment center.
During this next stage, individuals have incorporated the substance into their everyday life. It can also be hard to recognize, mainly if a loved one is functioning normally. You can start to notice that regular use is slowly becoming more problematic. Individuals will go through periods of using where they stop using and then begin again. At this stage, many are still using drugs and alcohol with other people but can start to use alone as well. It is possible to miss work and school due to hangovers and become worried about losing the drug source.
This is one of the stages of addiction when substance abuse takes a negative toll. If driving, many will do so under the influence. Individuals may have gotten a DUI or had some other negative consequences. Performance at school or work could be suffering, along with relationships. Individuals may have changed their circle of friends, and behavior has changed as well.
By the time someone becomes dependent on substances, both the mind and body are reliant on that substance. There will be behavioral changes that are dangerous and obvious.
The continued use of substances will lead to alcohol or drug addiction, especially as all stages of addiction progress. When an alcohol or drug addiction finally develops, there are drug addiction rehab options at Santé Center for Healing.
The Stages of Addiction
As with every chronic disease, there are variations within the stages of addiction. Each individual is unique. For example, a heavy drinker who has a tolerance for alcohol may not develop addiction or dependence. Others can develop a heroin addiction and need heroin addiction treatment after prescription opioid pain medication for a routine injury. Research shows that specific segments of the population are genetically predisposed, but the disposition isn’t a guarantee that someone will become an addict. An individual without a predisposition can also just as quickly develop an addiction under the right circumstances.
Signs to Look Out For
Each stage has its symptoms, and it’s only going to be noticeable if you know what to look for in a person. Significant symptoms are excessive experimentation, changes in behavior, physical side effects, and the inability to stop using. By knowing the stages of addictions, individuals can get help. Contact 866.238.3154 to find treatment at our drug and alcohol rehab center at Santé Center for Healing.