Addiction is something that just in 2021, 22 million Americans reported to suffer from. In order to further understand addiction, it has been broken down into four stages: experimentation, regular use, high-risk use, and addiction. By using this process, the Stages of Addiction helps us at American Treatment Network in Havertown, PA and Newark, DE help you or a person you know with addiction, opioid treatment, and the long term side effects of drug abuse.

Stage 1: Experimentation

Experimentation is typically not looked at as a bad thing, and is even applauded among teens and young adults. Experimentation can be tricky because it can lead to other drugs and addiction. With experimentation, it separates into two categories: those who have it as a one-time use and those who move on to the next stage, regular use.

Stage 2: Regular Users

These people are moving forward from the experimentation stage and start to become regular users because they believe it helps their problems and makes them feel better. This can be a very difficult stage as some people will never leave this stage. Though if they are regular users now, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will become addicts. On the other hand, this stage can also be difficult because the level of dependency occurs in this stage. The drug or alcohol user begins to make excuses for their substance abuse and will start participating in dangerous actions such as being under the influence and driving.

Stage 3: High-risk Users

The next stage is high-risk users. These are the people that take using once in a while or temporarily using (regular users), to the next level. Now, they can’t go without it and it essentially runs their life. Some characteristics you’ll see in high-risk users is they begin to act dangerously and will risk putting others in danger by driving high or drunk, they have no regard for the law or consequences of the actions, and will do things that they typically wouldn’t in order to just get drugs or alcohol.

Stage 4: Addiction

The final and most detrimental stage is addiction. Once you’ve reached this stage, you have 100% dependency on the substance and are drunk or high most of the time. You will not let anything or any person stand in the way of getting your substance. You can tell this person that their life depends on them quitting and they will not care. This is also the stage where if your body goes without it, you will start to experience withdrawal symptoms that typically consist of tremors, headaches, shakes, sweats, and possibly more. Experiencing these symptoms makes it even harder to quit as these symptoms can feel unbearable.

Get Addiction Help Today with American Treatment Network

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse, American Treatment Network in Havertown, PA and Newark, DE can help you in your journey to recovery and the long-term side effects of drug abuse.


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