• April 23, 2024

If you need more clarity on the five stages of addiction, don’t hesitate to ask our caring specialists. We understand that learning all of this information can be overwhelming. However, just by choosing to read this you’re already taking a step in the right direction. These symptoms may temporarily go away when the substance is back in the picture. With dependence on any substance, one doesn’t feel “normal” if they’re not using.

Other times symptoms of mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, will develop due to chronic drug use. The result is a never-ending cycle that is difficult to break without treating both the drug addiction and the mental illness. Proper assessment of a dual diagnosis can help you in any stage of drug use and addiction. One of the trickiest aspects of addiction is recognizing that often the first samples of drugs or alcohol produce few or no negative consequences. Experimentation, defined as the voluntary use of drugs without experiencing any negative social or legal consequences, is often accepted or even encouraged, particularly among young adults. The person using the substance primarily views this instance of getting high or getting drunk as a one-time occurrence, without recognizing that this is exactly what opens the door to the downward spiral of addiction.


This is where addiction can lead to serious danger and crime, because users feel that they need the substance whatever the cost. Depending on the goals you set in the contemplation stage, and the plans you made in the preparation stage, the action stage can occur in small, gradual steps, or it can be a complete cycle of addiction life change. It may feel strange and even empty to be living life without your addiction. It takes time to get used to life without an addiction, even if your support and alternative ways of coping are good. The word “contemplation” essentially means to consider or think about something deeply.

Cravings become unbearable, and they may drive you to do things you wouldn’t normally do just to get your hands on more drugs or alcohol. Stage two represents somewhat of a fork in the road for many people. While some people may be able to engage in the regular use of drugs or alcohol without developing an addiction, the risk for dependence greatly increases during this stage. As does the risk of participating in high-risk behaviors, such as driving under the influence. The occasional drink or drug turns into a common occurrence, like sleeping or brushing your teeth.

Break the Cycle of Addiction Today

By way of example, someone out for the night at a bar may have one more drink than they should because someone offered to buy them a drink. They may appreciate the way that the last drink made them feel and start having one last drink more frequently. It’s a vicious cycle that ends with binge drinking, and love it or hate it, it is substance abuse.

The five stages of addiction recovery are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. The three stages are Binge/Intoxication, Withdrawal/Negative Affect and Preoccupation/Anticipation. In this blog series, we will describe each stage in a way that will help you better understand substance use https://ecosoberhouse.com/ disorders and describe ways to prevent and treat them. If you or a loved one suffers from a substance use disorder, commonly referred to as an “addiction,” you will often feel like one of those hamsters on a wheel. No matter how hard you try, you just cannot seem to get off the nightmare merry-go-round of suffering.

What Is the Transtheoretical Model?

In the continued use stage, a person may also notice that their recovery time becomes longer. Their high is followed by their brain trying to figure out what just happened. It takes the brain longer to chemically repair itself and balance back out during this stage of addiction.

Movement into the addiction stage is almost definite at this point in the process, as many users require the drug or substance to just feel normal. The user may become surprised by his or her own actions during this phase, when cravings become more unbearable, high-risk actions become more self-justified and finances are directed toward obtaining more of the drug. Alcohol and drug addiction is a chronic disease that, like many other illnesses, does not appear suddenly at its most serious stage.

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