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Stages of addiction – 1: Using drugs to seek refuge

Addiction does not develop in a day. In reality, it is difficult to assess exactly how long a person might take to develop an addiction since almost all the drugs work differently, varying from one individual to other. Precisely, an addiction to drugs or alcohol begins with an occasional experimentation, which gradually leads to frequent consumption, culminating at the stage where one cannot survive without the addictive substances.

Among the various stages that lead to addiction, the first is dependence. Here, the regular use of an addictive substance makes the body chemically dependent on the drug to remain functionally normal. Next comes the tolerance stage, where the body has built a tolerance for a particular drug, due to which, the user has to increase the dosage in order to achieve the desired effect. Finally, one reaches the stage where the body is completely captivated by the substance and cannot function without it. Ceasing the substance at this stage may lead to withdrawal symptoms, which in turn causes increased pain and discomfort.

Developing addiction as mode of seeking refuge

People consume drugs, alcohol and other addictive substances to achieve a high. These substances help the user to disconnect from the reality and zone out to an imaginary world, enabling them to forget their pain, struggles and problems. Interestingly, most people tend to take drugs or alcohol in order to achieve this temporary high and dissociate themselves from the mundane struggles.

Hence, the addiction often starts with an offering from a friend or a loved one, who essentially tries to help the user in coping with the loss, pain and struggle of life. Thus, in the process, the user starts believing that addictive substances can be used to relieve physical or emotional pain. At this stage, the user consumes the substance occasionally and has adequate decision-making abilities about his or her substance use. However, the user never intends to develop the occasional use into addiction.

The temporary solace in the addictive substance encourages the user to try other substances to attain a permanent relief. Although, the one-time or occasional use of addictive substance does not show any harm on the surface, a regular use of drugs or alcohol makes the body susceptible to develop an addiction. Thus, something that started as an experimentation often ends up in a serious addiction.

Trauma, loss or heartbreak disrupts the mental balance and creates emotional disturbances, causing immense pain, displeasure and detachment. To escape from such adversities in life, people usually resort to drugs and alcohol, which eventually leads to the development of addiction.

Getting rid of addiction is possible

Drugs not only make the lives of those addicted to it, but also their near and dear ones. Drug abuse may affect one’s mental health, and an overdose can prove fatal. Seeking right treatment at the earliest becomes vital to get rid of addiction and reclaim sobriety.

Drug addiction can damage one’s emotional and physical well-being. By achieving sobriety, one can start enjoying his or her life again like before. If you or your loved one is fighting addiction, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline to know about the drug rehab centers in your area. To know about various addiction treatment centers in the U.S., call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online with our treatment advisors for expert advice about drug and alcohol abuse treatment centers in your vicinity.

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