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Many people are struggling with addiction.

Two aspects that all addictions have in common are:

Addictions are maladaptive - Addiction is often a personal and unrelated consequence to a situation. The benefits people derive from addictive behaviors are not only unhealthy but also illogical. Though, it doesn't make them any less important for the person who is using them as tools to cope with any problem or situation that may cause discomfort. The behavior is persistent - When people become addicted to something, they will continue engaging in the behavior despite how going through with it might negatively impact their lives. A weekend of self-indulgence is not an addiction, although it may cause issues that mimic those characteristics of an addiction. Rather, being addicted means regularly engaging in a behavior. [1]

Substance abuse isn't the kind of thing you should just dismiss. It occurs when you use alcohol, prescription medication, and other legal and illegal drugs in ways they aren't intended to be used or when you take more than appropriate amounts of them.

Substance abuse and addiction are different. People who are addicted to substances like drugs or alcohol may have a super strong desire for these substances and feel as though to them, nothing else matters apart from satisfying this desire. But other people with substance abuse problems aren’t as serious - they can stop using or change the unhealthy behavior in question if needed. [2]

Drug addiction can start with the experimental recreational use of a drug or other substance in a social setting, or it may begin with prescribed medications. For some people, drugs cause addictions because we see these people at parties and they are around a lot of drugs; on the other hand, opioids cause addictions as many friends and acquaintances who have them prescribed sometimes share their medication, and then another friend can be directly affected. The risk of addiction varies by drug. For example, some drugs are much more addictive than others. For example, cocaine can be extremely addictive but does not affect the brain in the same way or for as long as heroin does. The point is that not all drugs are created equal and it's possible to become addicted to a drug without actually realizing what's happening! [3]

It's important to know the stages of addiction and how to stop this problem before it starts for which we have the list of India's best de-addiction centers.

First use and Experimentation

There are a number of youth who experiment with drinking alcohol or taking drugs before they reach adulthood. This period generally occurs during the teenage years when kids are curious and searching to figure out who they are. Many kids begin experimenting with substances, including to fit in with friends, because they feel pressured by factors that influence teens every day like pop culture or perhaps society as a whole.

Once someone has tried drugs and alcohol for the first time, they could continue to experiment more or stop using if they have satisfied their curiosity. This can depend on the drug's availability in their community and whether they are living in a place where friends are using it as well, but also their family environment and other mental health conditions.

The experimentation stage often begins with the fun use of alcohol or drugs, such as when a teenager is using it at a party, or an adult uses it during times of stress. Because the person hasn't gotten attached to substance just yet, he/she will not likely have cravings either. This first phase of addiction is hard to catch for loved ones because there are no obvious signs and it's often difficult to determine whether experimental use will turn into more serious patterns of abuse. If you find out that your loved one has started experimenting with substances that can be addictive - such as alcohol, marijuana, and prescription medications like opioids - try your best to get them help from local treatment programs to stop potential addiction before it gets out of hand.

Regular Use

During this step, an individual has begun to regularly use what could be classified as substance addiction. It becomes increasingly difficult for friends and family to identify because at this stage the individual may still appear to be functioning well. But it isn't long before problems start appearing among those who were once able to juggle their addiction with everyday life. Patterns of drug or alcohol abuse tend to intensify during these stages: people are likely to slip out of social gatherings unnoticed due to hangovers, or become so desperate for a fix that they’ll consider spending more money than they can actually afford on their habit; at home, they might even go as far as hiding bottles or substances in places they used only to hide things like illicit drugs.

Propensity to engage in the substance or behavior, potentially influenced by social (e.g., family members or friends' propensity to engage), psychological (e.g., stress levels), and environmental factors (e.g., low cost, easy availability) can lead to regular engagement, with chronic engagement leading to brain changes. Drugs affect brain chemistry and some drugs tend to cause cravings. There are changes in the pre-frontal cortex and in the limbic system too. This creates an altered state of mind, which seems real but isn’t in reality. The preoccupation about meeting this need for the drug can lead to significant impairment in a person’s ability to resist impulses, despite knowing all too well the serious consequences these impulsive behaviors have.

Risky Use

This is one of the stages of substance abuse where an individual starts getting into trouble. Many may drive while under the influence and could have been arrested for it. At school or at work, performance could start slipping and relationships are also starting to change. Friendships can come and go but overall behaviors begin to alter due to continued use as well.

Dependence

By the time someone becomes dependent on substances, it can be a serious problem. There are many behavioral changes that are dangerous and obvious that result from dependency.

Addiction

Continued use of a substance will likely lead even more to addiction as all three stages of addiction progress. When one attempts to tackle addiction, there are alcohol and drug rehab centers in India– it’s hard to beat alcohol or drug addiction on your own and not too late to get help either.

The Stages of Addiction

Some people are more prone to addiction than others. For example, a chronic drinker may be able to enjoy a few beers without becoming an addict; whereas someone who had used heroin once or twice in their life has the potential for developing an addiction. While anyone can become addicted under the right conditions, some individuals are much more likely than others based on their physical disposition or inherited genes from their parents.[4]

Sign to look out for

Most signs of addiction relate to a person's inability to maintain self-control. Some examples are changes in behavior, such as seeking out situations that encourage substance and/or maladaptive behaviors; social, like a lack of discretion regarding time and setting for example; health-related, like insomnia or memory loss; relating to personality, i.e. suffering an observable change in how you interact with others if it's not altered by your maladaptive behavior. The most common sign of addiction is that an addict will continue using even when they know they have problems or know they're doing damage to their body or the lives of those around them.

Some behavioral changes related to addiction may include: difficulty thinking about anything else, poor assessment of the pros and cons associated with using substances or behaviors, blaming other factors or people for their problems, mood swings, heightened sensitivity, and severe reactions to stress, trouble identifying feelings as feelings. [5]

Each stage of addiction has its own signs and symptoms; in fact, addictions are not always easy to identify. When someone is addicted, his or her friends and loved ones may notice a change in behavior, an inability to control their impulses, and physical symptoms such as shakes or withdrawal symptoms when the addict stops using. If people know how to recognize the different stages of addiction, they can get help for the individuals they love by approaching the best rehab centers in India.

RESOURCES-
  1. 1. https://www.verywellmind.com/addiction-4157312
  2. 2. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/substance-abuse#1
  3. 3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/symptoms-causes/syc-20365112
  4. 4. https://www.apa.org/topics/substance-use-abuse-addiction
  5. 5. https://www.healthline.com/health/addiction#signs

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