Drug Abuse is referred to as the conventional use of illicit, illegal and banned drugs resulting in serious consequences that affects the health of an individual. Drug abuse can be termed as substance abuse or chemical abuse.
Chronic drug addiction is much more than conventional use of drugs. An individual or an addict has a physical dependence on drugs and cannot stop their usage regardless of the serious implications and consequences. The negative consequences of drug addiction often go beyond the physical and psychological limits, negatively impacting the personal and social lifestyle of an individual or an addict. There are a handful of individuals who can quit drug addiction on their own but a majority of individuals depend upon the services of a drug rehab center or a specialist.
4 Stages of Drug Addiction
Trying out experiment with drugs is the 1st step towards addiction. During this initial phase, an individual tries out a number of drugs and often selects a drug that eventually becomes his / her addiction. The reason for experimentation differs, which includes peer pressure, anxiety, stress, curiosity and trauma which is due to a specific event. Experimentation with drugs often leads to the next stage which is frequent and regular use.
After the experimentation phase, drug use becomes normal. This refers to the second stage of addiction. During this phase, drug use is often hard to detect as individuals can carry out their daily chores and daily routine in the usual manner. Though signs of addiction are visible, they are less apparent to those who have far little knowledge about individual drug addiction or abuse.
Dependence on drugs is the third stage of addiction. It is during this phase, an individual shows complex and serious behavioral traits such as taking (sniffing, snorting or injecting) drugs at work or driving under the influence of drugs. At this stage, it is very difficult to maintain a normal lifestyle as drugs become the top priority in life. It is in this third stage that drug addiction become known to family, friends and colleagues.
This is a full-blown stage where it becomes difficult for the addict to identify between dependence and addiction as he / she is in a denial mode. In this last stage of addiction, drugs assume the highest priority in the life of an addict. For a person suffering from full blown addiction, the best way out is to go for an intensive Partial hospitalization rehab treatment before it gets too late.
This is purely a medical condition that is diagnosed like any other illness, disorder or ailment. The most preferred and common guide to diagnose drug addiction is the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMTM).
The present version, the DSM-5TM, clearly notifies that for an individual / addict to be classified under substance abuse disorder 2 of the following 11 criteria must meet within one calendar year:
Once you understand the causes related to drug addiction and drug abuse, it becomes easier for all to come out of this menace called “Drugs” and lead a sober life with friends, family and colleagues.