Recognizing The Stages of Addiction [ Infographic]

Are you struggling with substance abuse or full-blown addiction in your life? If so, you are probably wondering how you got to this point. However, by recognizing the stages of addiction, you can begin to discover the root causes of your problem.

Addiction is a disease and it can quickly take hold of you. Moreover, substance abuse can become a confusing and overwhelming period of your life. When you seek treatment, you may not understand how you developed an addiction in the first place.

What Are the Stages of Addiction?

From your first use to tolerance and dependence, the stages of addiction can somewhat vary in each person’s life. However, the common path to addiction is:

  • First Use
  • Continued Use
  • Tolerance
  • Dependence
  • Addiction

As you can see, this process has many stages that inevitably lead to addiction. Throughout each step, you continue to use more of the drug and your body reacts accordingly.

Stage One: First Use

The first stage is the first use of the drug or alcohol. This can include experimentation, the first time taking a prescription medication, peer pressure, and more.

For example, you may looking to grow within your social circle and feel acceptance. If they begin to use drugs or alcohol, their use can lead you down the same path. After your first use of the substance, you may enjoy the euphoric effects and use again.

Stage Two: Continued Use

Continued use is commonly due to the euphoric effects of the drug. If you enjoyed the way it made you feel, then you are more likely to use again. However, with prescription medication, this can include a person who is taking the medication based on their prescription or dosage.

With the stages of addiction, continued use is when your brain begins to take longer to return to normal chemical balance. After using each time, you won’t recover as quickly.

Stage Three: Tolerance

The tolerance stage can vary depending on the individual. However, this is the point in which continued use has led the brain and body to completely adjust to the drug and it now takes more of the substance to feel its effects.

With prescription painkillers, you will begin to notice that your medication is not taking away the pain anymore. This is a clear sign that you are on the road to addiction and need to seek help immediately.

Stage Four: Dependence

As the stages of addiction continue on, dependence is a physical and chemical overload that may lead to ill symptoms. Without the drugs or alcohol, you will become physically ill and face withdrawal symptoms.

Furthermore, your brain will struggle to function normally without the substance.

Stage Five: Addiction

At this point, you are now facing full-blown addiction. For example, you will begin to believe it’s impossible to live without the drugs or alcohol. This includes moments of denial, and an unwillingness to stop using even though the substance is less enjoyable and has caused serious life problems.

Overcome Addiction With Silver Pines

Now that you understand the stages of addiction, fight to regain control of your life for a better, healthier future. At Silver Pines Treatment Center in Hazleton, PA, we’ll develop a custom addiction treatment plan to take action against your addiction and help you find sobriety and overall wellness in your life.

For more information about our substance abuse treatment, contact us today at 866-345-2147. Learn more about the stages of addiction and how you can overcome this disease at Silver Pines.