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Stages of addiction – 5: Succumbing to irrepressible urge of substance use

Addiction is often regarded as a path of decline, wherein a person steers on a downward spiral to an otherwise fulfilling life.  In worst cases, people battling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol are condemned in the society and are often considered as criminals or malicious. In fact, many people consider faulty or immoral character as the most important reason behind the onset of addictive behavior, however, there are numerous other reasons, such as bad lifestyle choices and peer pressure, which can lead to the devastating habit.

Addiction is a chronic brain disease, which impairs the brain in different ways causing an array of mental and physical disorders. But, the good news is that any kind of addiction is treatable, provided a person reaches out for help as soon as the problem is detected. Just like any other chronic ailment, even addiction does not develop at one instance, instead, it goes through several stages, eventually, developing into a full-blown addiction. Thus, when it comes to the various stages of addiction, the last stage is the most critical. At this stage, the body completely surrenders to the chemical changes caused by the addictive substances.  Moreover, the brain also loses its ability to function normally due to marked impairments involving brain circuitry, rewards, motivation and memory.

Dependence on drugs and alcohol turns habitual

The chemical, psychological and physical dependency on the illegal substances becomes uncontrollable at one stage, altering the body, mind and behavior of a person to a considerable extent. As a result, the individual is unable to give away the substance, despite undergoing irreparable damage to the physical and mental health. What remains at this point, is the urge to consume more and more of the addictive substance, ignoring all the ill-effects that the substances are causing in life.

Unfortunately, addiction is still a taboo in certain societies, preventing patients from seeking treatment before the problem turns out of control. At times, even family and friends tend to abandon or isolate their loved ones who are battling with any kind of addiction. Such people are also blamed for various criminal activities and thefts owing to their addictive behavior. However, it is important to understand that most of the crimes committed by such patients occur when they are under the influence and are, therefore, unable to discriminate between the just and the unjust. The thefts, on the other hand, are committed to procure money in order to buy illegal substances.

Road to recovery

Addiction can be treated at any stage. In fact, experts and doctors are trained to create different treatment programs, depending upon the severity and duration of the addiction. Although there is a risk of relapse surrounding the recovery process, it can be easily taken care of with adherence to treatment and sincerity. However, the first step toward sobriety is to recognize the symptoms at an early stage and seek immediate treatment. No damage caused due to addiction is more severe than the consequences of leaving addiction untreated.

Hence, if you or your loved one is already fighting addiction, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline to know about drug rehab centers in your area. To know about our addiction treatment centers in the U.S., call 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.

Read the other part of the series “Stages of addiction:”

  1. Seeking refuge
  2. Regular use of alcohol
  3. Clinging to the substance
  4.  Chemical dependency

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