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Few people take their first dose of a drug-- legal or illegal-- with the hope of getting addicted. For 2009, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration declares that 23.5 million people sought some form of treatment for drug and alcohol problems. Of course, individual physiology and psychological makeup have much to do with how quickly addiction can take hold and with the amount ingested before passing the invisible threshold from freedom to slavery.

While each individual instance may differ in time frame and ferociousness of dependence, certain patterns are standard among the complete pool of substance abusers. Out of the accounts of addicts and the professionals who treat them, clinicians can single out benchmarks for the stages of drug addiction.
Withdrawal From Alcohol Normally Starts 6-- 24 Hours After The Last Alcoholic Beverage

Experimenting With Substances

Experimentation can have many different motivations. For young people, peer pressure is a top reason for partaking in their first puff, drink or snort. However, addiction does not have to start in youth. A middle-aged or older individual might try out prescription pain relievers to address persistent discomforts and aches. Even seniors might use drinking or substances to take the edge off loneliness. These correspond to significant moments in a person's life when a drug is used to initiate a physical, emotional or social malady a little more bearable. Isolated occasions of use might or might not be continued with increased repetition or amounts. With no realistic self-assessment a truthful evaluation of the signs of substance addiction an individual might move unwittingly into the more distressing stages of drug addiction.

Regular Use

Taking a drug or other substance on a regular basis does not necessarily lead a person into addiction. Some can use a drug continuously for a period and afterwards terminate its usage with little or no distress. Should the timeframe extends indefinitely and the potency of dosages rise likewise, regular use can transform into substance addiction.

Dangerous Consumption

While the stages of drug addiction are traveled through, the individual's personal choices and tendencies get progressively more unsafe, both to himself or herself and other people. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 28.4 percent of young adults between the ages of 21 and 25 drove under the influence of illegal substances in 2009.

• Driving while under the influence of a sedative
• Using money recklessly to obtain the drug

• Defensiveness in verbal exchanges
• Secretiveness
• Adjustments in look.
Adjustments in appetite, memory failure and degrading coordination are also warning signs of drug abuse. The line of demarcation dividing risky use and addiction is thin and difficult to identify. Securing aid for oneself or a person you care about should not be postponed at this stage.


Of all the stages of substance use, dependence and addiction are the most challenging to distinguish. The dreadful repercussions of substance abuse are definitely observable in dependency. For example, the dependent individual is repeatedly absent from work because of repetitious usage of the controlling substance. Over and above the employer, the substance abuser may sometimes allow obligations to family, good friends, neighbors and society go by the wayside. The unsafe conducts recorded above become more regular.
Through it all, though, the dependent differs from the addict by meeting enough commitments to preserve the basic framework of their life. The direction of drug abuse phases is still headed downward, the appearance of normalcy lingers.


If changes are not made-- and aid is not sought-- the stages of drug addiction trigger the most dangerous phase: addiction itself. With this the individual is psychologically and physically bound to uninterrupted usage of the drug or alcohol. The point of brain disorders is achieved and the victim is subject to a number of detrimental consequences of long-term substance abuse. The heart and circulatory process may be endangered, as can the respiratory tract. The immune system is diminished, permitting hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and several forms of cancer to ravage the addict. Brain damage and mental deterioration can also occur.
Since the addiction is of both body and mind, withdrawal symptoms are best supervised and treated by knowledgeable doctors. TO ANSWER A TROUBLESOME QUESTION: . . .
drinking problem ?
After the addictive substance has been cleaned from the physical body, the substance abuser should work with pyschologists to isolate the causes and constitution of the addiction.
sons of liberty

Without a sober self-assessment-- an honest assessment of the signs of drug addiction-- an individual can pass unknowingly into the more acute stages of drug addiction.
Using a drug or other chemical substance on a regular basis does not inevitably lead an individual into addiction. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 28.4 percent of young adults between the ages of 21 and 25 operated a vehicle under the influence of illegal drugs in 2009. Of all the stages of drug addiction, dependence and use are the hardest to separate. If changes are not initiated-- and assistance is not looked for-- the stages of substance addiction draw a person to the most severe stage: addiction itself.

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