More than 40 million Americans over the age of twelve suffer from chronic substance use disorders. That is an incredible 1 in every 7. To put this in perspective, this constitutes a greater number than those who have cancer, diabetes, or even heart disease. Of course, each person suffering from addiction is different and will need an addiction treatment program tailored to them. Whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, or background, everyone who suffers at the hands of alcohol or drug addiction shares one thing. They have all gone through, or are in the process of going through, the stages of addiction.
All of us want to help people we know who are battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol. We may even be sufferers ourselves. To better identify the stages of addiction, we must understand them. Knowing how to cope with addiction — and where to find the proper resources — is a key for anyone who is at risk. And as is true of most things, identifying and understanding the stages of addiction are the first steps in combatting it. Only when we have been able to identify and understand addiction can we give it the proper medical attention it deserves at a premier treatment facility like New Bridge Foundation.
Understanding and Identifying the Stages of Addiction
Learning the stages of addiction can help the client or healthcare professional assess where someone is in their struggle. It can also assist us in determining the best course of action for recovery. All of the stages of addiction are complicated, and there can be a great deal of variance from individual to individual. But generally speaking, some of the most telling signs of a developing and progressing addiction to drugs or alcohol are:
- First-Time Use. We should be clear: first-time users of drugs or alcohol are not always at risk of developing an addiction. This said, those with low impulse control or who have a genetic predisposition to addiction are more likely to use the substance again, thus potentially beginning a cycle of use and abuse that can be difficult to stop. Substance abuse is far more likely, of course, if the individual’s first time is enjoyable.
- Regular/Risky Use. Once an individual graduates to using a substance regularly, it may begin to interfere with their work-life, and with their social and familial obligations. At this stage, an individual may also start to behave more recklessly while using the substance by, for instance, driving a car or operating heavy machinery.
- Dependence. At this stage, the user finds it difficult to focus on anything other than the substance. It has infiltrated every aspect of their life.
- Substance Use Disorder. In this final stage, the individual is experiencing disruption in major aspects of their life. There can be employment, financial, health and social issues. The individual may be having problems fulfilling their responsibilities and the substance is having a negative impact on their life and functioning.
Contact New Bridge Foundation Today
At New Bridge, we have developed a series of programs to help clients recover no matter where they are in the stages of addiction. But before we can help, the person suffering — or someone who loves them — must reach out to us. When it is time to take that first step on the road to recovery, we will be here, ready to help work through that addiction with a plan customized to the needs of the individual. Contact us online today or call us at 866.772.8491. Help is right around the corner.