The popular portrayal of addiction is someone whose life has turned into a mess and is rejecting all efforts to help. It’s a false portrayal. The stages of addiction, while predictable, are varied from individual to individual. Sometimes addiction does cause severe effects, but other times it doesn’t, and that’s what makes treatment a challenge.
Recognizing the stages of addiction can help addiction treatment programs become more effective. By spotting trouble before it advances, a person can get the help they need, or at least begin to adjust their behaviors accordingly. Understanding the cycle can also help you react sooner if it’s a loved one who is struggling with substance abuse.
Addiction does unfold predictably, and at each stage, there are opportunities to interrupt the cycle to redirect circumstances into a healthier direction.
What is Addiction?
Before internalizing the stages of addiction, it’s important to understand what addiction is. Addiction is a serious disease in which substance abuse reprograms the brain. When you try to cut off the supply of drugs or alcohol, the body reacts by pulling you into withdrawal.
But addiction isn’t measured by quantity — by how much you drink or how many pills you consume. It’s measured by how substance abuse impacts your life. The disorder lies in your reaction — if drugs or alcohol are causing problems in your life, and you continue to use, then you may have a use disorder.
Addiction can be managed but is never cured. It becomes a lifelong challenge for an individual to keep drugs and alcohol at bay.
Stages of Addiction
Millions of people in the United States seek treatment for substance abuse each year. While others may group behaviors differently, the U.S. Surgeon General has identified three main stages of addiction:
- Preoccupation/anticipation — where the person contemplates and then experiments with a certain substance
- Binge/intoxication, where the overuse takes hold
- Withdrawal/negative affect, where the troubles mount
These stages will manifest themselves in different ways, depending on a variety of factors. But someone is not “fated” to complete the cycle once it begins. Treatment and caring/compassionate support from family can interrupt the stages of addiction.
Treatment for Addiction
One of the key moments in addiction is when someone reaches the point where they finally conclude they need help. That’s when they turn to addiction treatment centers such as Fresh Start Recovery Center.
Just as there are stages for addiction, there are also stages of treatment. Understanding those stages can make it easier to accept the help you need, want, and deserve:
- Assessment doctors will evaluate your mental and physical condition.
- Planning in conjunction with counselors, they will then develop a comprehensive treatment roadmap.
- Detox your first challenge is to stop using; detox is a medically supervised process aimed at helping you through withdrawal.
- Counseling involving therapy sessions, both one-on-one and in groups, to build coping skills.
- Aftercare resources to help you fend off a relapse.
Following the stages of treatment can help break the cycle of addiction.
Reaching Your Potential at Fresh Start Recovery Center
The stages of addiction are predictable and painful at the same time. Addiction can also pose obstacles to you getting the help altering your judgment. Don’t let it. The stage you want to reach is treatment, when experienced medical and counseling professionals can help bring you back to a stable life of sobriety. The team at Fresh Start Recovery Center specializes in evidence-based care in providing comprehensive treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders.
We understand that every individual is different in their path through addiction, so our treatment plans are carefully customized to your unique concerns. Contact Fresh Start Recovery Center today at 833.625.0398 for a confidential consultation and to understand our rehab admissions process.