Amy was experiencing a turmoil with her parents’ recent divorce. Her break up with her long-term boyfriend further added to her grief. Struggling to overcome the all-consuming inner grief and loneliness, she found solace in alcohol. Gradually, she felt that her routine of drinking, especially after work, helped her cope with the all-consuming loneliness and grief. Soon, gulping alcohol became an integral part of her life, which, in turn, made it extremely difficult for her to manage life’s daily tasks. While the consequences of heavy drinking, such as hangovers and deteriorating health, made it worse for her, she eventually realized that she was slipping into addiction.
An addiction to any substance, be it alcohol or drugs, does not develop in a day, instead, it takes several months to get used to such substances. In fact, the whole process of addiction involves several distinct stages, categorized on varying degrees of alcohol dependence.
Amy, being at the second stage of alcohol abuse, could realize her growing dependence on the substance, which wreaked havoc on her personal and professional life. At this stage, despite becoming a regular user of alcohol, an individual still has the ability to curb his or her intense cravings for the substance.
In the continuous battle to escape from the challenges of life, many people develop the habit of consuming alcohol or other addictive substances. Precisely, when people give up their courage to withstand the hardships of life, they try to seek refuge in alcohol or drugs, which although starts as an occasional indulgence, but soon, gets transformed into a regular affair.
This is the stage where an individual neither craves for the addictive substance nor has any severe dependence on it, however, he or she becomes a habitual user, which eventually leads to an addiction. However, instead of refraining from the substance, he or she develops methods and techniques to deal with the after effects of alcohol or drugs, thereby ensuring a regular consumption of the substance.
The positive part is that the user can still check his or her alcohol intake and curb its excessive consumption. Hence, during the stage, the user has an option to choose from slipping down the slope or revert to living without the substance. However, in such circumstances, the euphoric effects of alcohol, or any other substance, train the brain to connect with the addictive substance to feel relaxed and happy, thereby causing the body to become dependent on the substance. As a result, the brain begins sending signals for regular use of the substance.
It is easy to fall a prey to dangerous substances but very difficult to come out of its grip. Seeking treatment at the right time helps control the situation and improve the quality of life. Moreover, the lifestyle that one leads in the modern-day world takes a toll on one’s physical as well as mental health. Sometimes, even during the recovery process from an addiction, a person is likely to go back to the addiction that one has quit, causing a relapse. A relapse is usually triggered by emotions, perceptions, situations or scenarios, which act as an excuse to slide back into the previous state.
However, in case 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 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.
Read the other part of the series “Stages of addiction:”