This early stage of drug or alcohol addiction can be difficult to understand, especially if a loved one is trying a substance for the first time. . Each of these stages will show symptoms of addiction development, but will only be noticed if you are interested in what to look for. The most important symptoms to watch out for include overexperimentation, constant use in daily life, changes in behavior, physical side effects that represent increasing dependence and, of course, an inability of a loved one to stop using.
The five stages of addiction recovery are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. Read on to learn more about the different stages. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as “a chronic, recurrent brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite the harmful consequences. Addiction includes dependence on alcohol, opioids and nicotine, among many other substances.
As addiction takes hold, people exhibit certain behaviors, says National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. As people become regular users, they begin to show a pattern. Sometimes they may consume only on weekends or only at night while spending time with friends, but often these people begin to show signs of addiction as the substance becomes more important in their lives. Also called “party” or “chipping” in the context of drug and alcohol addiction, this first stage is when the use of the substance or the performance of the behavior is voluntary and there are no apparent negative consequences.
The first time a person watches a pornographic magazine, or a teenager goes to a party and has a few drinks and pills to fit in, that's experimentation. Similarly, the first time a person goes to a casino and spends a few hours at the tables or slot machines, he is simply playing with the game, trying it out. The impetus to explore substance or behavior may have arisen to address an unmet need. An example of this could be an older woman who loses her husband and buys a bottle of wine to drink with dinner because she no longer has her life partner to share dinner with.
The substance or behavior often seems to help calm the sense of loss, emptiness, or lack of esteem that created the original interest in experimentation. Because it seems to help, the person is attracted to using the substance or performing the behavior again, which marks the beginning of the second stage. By itself, Stage 1 does not separate the individual from their substance abuse, but it is a crucial time that is crucial to starting the recovery process. After the addict has recognized your addiction and has taken more time to learn about it, it's time for you to start figuring out what your options are for getting help.
This can happen in a number of ways, such as talking to friends and family who have been in your position before or doing more research online. At this stage, recovery shifts from reflection, research and desire to actively embark on the path to drug liberation. Stage 3 is where many addicts decide to visit a rehabilitation center to explore the possibility or even take the leap and enter a rehabilitation program. If the addict has not yet been admitted to a rehabilitation center, this occurs at the beginning of Stage 4, which is characterized by the individual putting their recovery plan into practice and making the effort to carry it out.
The first step will be to choose what type of recovery program would be best for them. There are many different options to choose from, but the most effective of them is known as hospital care, which is when the patient resides in the facility while receiving treatment. Because addiction is a chronic and progressive brain disease, there is no way to completely cure it. Instead, the most that can be done is to help a person overcome their substance abuse and provide them with the tools they need to maintain abstinence on a daily basis.
Until now, the addict and the staff of a rehabilitation center have been working to achieve this goal. By the time Stage 5 begins, the individual will have made a great effort to overcome their substance use disorder and will have received the tools needed to begin recovery. To facilitate this stage, it is important that addicts have a support system, not only in times of difficulty, but also in moments of success and daily life. Before leaving rehabilitation, each patient should receive a personalized aftercare plan that is conducive to their recovery efforts.
This can include a variety of options, but some common features of an aftercare plan include intensive outpatient counseling, vocational resources, family therapy, and introduction to a local community in recovery, such as AA or NA. This comprehensive plan is essential in Stage 5, as the support and empathy of others allows the person to maintain their recovery goals. In the initial stage of treatment, clients may be in the pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, or early action change stage, depending on the nature of the group. Regardless of their early recovery stage, customers tend to be ambivalent about ending substance use.
Even those who sincerely intend to remain abstinent may have a weak commitment to recovery. In addition, cognitive impairment of substances is more severe in these early stages of recovery, so customers tend to be rigid in their thinking and limited in their ability to solve problems. For some scientists, it seems that the “addicted brain” is abnormally conditioned, so the environmental cues surrounding drug use have become part of addiction (Leshner 1996, p. During early treatment, a relatively active leader seeks to involve clients in the treatment process.
Clients from the outset “generally respond more favorably to the group leader, who is spontaneous, 'alive' and participatory, than to the group leader, who takes the more reserved stance of technical neutrality associated with the more classic approaches to group therapy (Flores 2001, p. The leader should not be too charismatic, but must have a presence strong enough to meet clients' dependency needs during the initial stage of treatment. In process groups, the leader pays special attention to feelings in the initial stage of treatment. Many people with a history of addiction aren't sure what they're feeling and have great difficulty communicating their feelings to others.
Leaders begin to help group members move toward affective regulation by labeling and reflecting feelings as they arise at work in. The leader's subtle instruction and empathy allow clients to begin to recognize and own their feelings. This essential step toward managing feelings also leads clients toward empathy with the feelings of others. Cognitive ability usually begins to return to normal in the middle stage of treatment.
Frontal lobe activity in a person addicted to cocaine, for example, is dramatically different after about 4 to 6 months of not using it. Even so, the mind can play tricks. Clients can clearly remember the comfort of their substance past, but they forget how bad the rest of their lives were and the severity of the consequences that occurred before they went into treatment. As a result, the temptation to relapse remains a matter of concern.
As the mental, physical, and emotional capabilities of the recovering client strengthen, anger, sadness, terror, and pain may be more appropriately expressed. Clients need to use the group as a means to explore their emotional and interpersonal world. They learn to differentiate, identify, name, tolerate and communicate feelings. Cognitive-behavioral interventions can provide clients with specific tools to help modulate feelings and be more confident in expressing and exploring them.
Interpersonal process groups are particularly useful in the intermediate stage of treatment, because authentic relationships within the group allow clients to experience and integrate a wide range of emotions in a safe environment. .