23 million people in the world find themselves faced with addiction issues. While some state that they were addicted from the first time they tried a substance, not all had this happen to them.

There are stages of addiction that a person goes through before becoming to terms with the fact that they might have an alcohol or substance abuse issue. If you or someone in your life is struggling with addiction, knowing the stages of drug addiction is the first step to getting the help you need.

1: Initiation

The first step of the addiction phase is known as the initiation phase. This phase is when someone is being introduced to drugs.

There are several reasons a person tries drugs for the first time, whether it’s because of peer pressure or being curious about the effects. For some people trying a substance once is all they need, and they never try the drug again.

For others, trying it once leads to the next time, and soon they find themselves in phase 2 of the addiction cycle.

2: Experimentation

During this phase in the addiction cycle, a person has moved past the first-time use. They have begun to take the drug frequently while still maintain a certain level of control over their daily lives.

In this phase, the substance has not been used enough for the body to experience withdrawals without it. People find themselves taking the substance during occasions when others are also using it (group/social settings).

3: Daily Use

At this point, using the substance regularly has become a normal part of a person’s life. Drug use can begin to turn from only happening during social occasions to being used alone when the thought strikes.

During this phase is when the drug use begins to start affecting the person’s regular life negatively. Others might also begin to notice the changes in a person’s life and suspect drug use.

4: The Spiral

The addiction cycles spiral phase is when the body begins to crave the substance and needs it to function regularly. When a person is not using, signs of withdrawal are evident, and they begin to look for ways to feed their habit to avoid feeling these symptoms.

There are several changes that a person goes through at this point to satisfy their growing habit. They might begin to let responsibilities they had fall to the wayside.

While their neglect of responsibility grows, they might also begin hanging out with different people and coming up with ways to find money to support their cravings.

5: Substance Dependency

In the earlier stages of the opioid addiction cycle, using a substance would’ve been categorized as a want. As we move into the fifth phase of the cycle, using has become necessary to function.

Two types of dependency develop when someone is using drugs: physical and mental. A person may feel that they are only able to achieve certain emotions when they’re using.

Or they might be chasing a specific feeling or rush that the drug provides for them. Whichever it is, once a person has stopped using, they aren’t able to achieve these same feelings or levels of joy.

6: Full Addiction

By now, the fact that someone is now using drugs has become noticeable to themselves and others in their lives. They may not be trying as hard to cover up their use the way they did in the initial phases.

Everything about a person’s life at this point has changed, and they’ve turned into someone they might not even recognize. They tend to take chances and make riskier decisions as long as they can get the substance that they are looking for.

Also, during this phase, many of their relationships have begun to suffer. The relationships suffer because of the choices that have been made while under the influence of drugs.

Once someone has become a full-blown addict, if anything stands in their way, they will find ways around it. Someone in addiction might also spend a lot of their time irritated with people that attempt to keep them from doing what they truly want 

7: Seeking Treatment

When you’ve realized that you or someone close to you has lost control of a substance, the only thing left to do is seek help. Treatment won’t work if you’re not ready to receive the help being offered to you.

People around you will work hard to help you understand that you need treatment, but the truth of the matter is, if you don’t want to change, change will never come. Several treatment facilities want to offer the help you need.

Treatment will teach you how to cope with triggers and figure out what life looks like without substance abuse in it. We aren’t saying that it will be easy, but the payoff is worth it.

Stages of Addiction: End the Cycle of Destruction

There are several stages of addiction that someone might find themselves in. Beginning with the initiation phase, where someone’s trying the substance for the first time, and for many, it ends in the stage of full-blown addiction.

The only way out of the cycle of addiction is to get help from experts that know how to help you get out of the cycle. If you’re ready to take back your life and leave addiction behind, contact Healthy Life Recovery.

We offer several programs for you to choose from, including sober living programs and outpatient programs. Living a healthier life starts today.

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