What Is the First Stage of Addiction? Knowing the Answer Could Save a Life

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Nevermind

In 2017, 19.7 million Americans, 12 years old or over, struggled with a substance use disorder.

No matter what substance or behavior we’re talking about, there are always red flags that suggest someone is going through the first stage of addiction. And given that only 10% of addicts in America receive treatment, we need to be more vocal about these initial symptoms.

If you believe you or someone you know might be battling with substance misuse, keep reading and learn about four of the biggest symptoms of this type of issue.

First Stage of Addiction: What Are Some of the Symptoms?

From an initial phase, addiction can manifest itself in three different manners -through psychological, physical, and social symptoms.

You may not experience all these symptoms, but if you start to notice a pattern that includes some of them, it might be time to get help. Programs like the non 12 step rehab can help you get back on your feet and the sooner you do it, the better.

1. Obsession and Inability to Stop Consuming

Do you find yourself constantly thinking about the substance? When you’re going to use it again, where you can get more, what other ways of consuming it you can try…

If your mind is completely focused on this substance and you can’t help but use it again and again, you most likely have an addiction problem.

2. Loss of Interest in Hobbies

Maybe you used to love going to the gym, doing yoga, or painting, and now… it seems like all your interest and motivation are gone.

This can be a sign that the substance has become such a huge deal in your life that it’s taking over all your attention, or that the substance is damaging your body and you can no longer partake in the hobbies that you used to. If you always wake up hungover, it becomes difficult to go on your daily morning hikes, for example.

3. Insomnia

Depending on the type of addiction you struggle with, you might start having sleeping issues. Many drugs, for instance, lead you to stay awake for nights in a row, which will obviously impact your sleeping routine and likely make you an insomniac.

4. Risk-Taking Behavior

This can happen in two circumstances. While you’re under the influence, the substance can make you take more risks, which often happens with alcohol.

The second circumstance is when you need to get more of the substance. The more addicted you become, the further you’re willing to go in order to get more and that can put you in dangerous situations.

Don’t Overlook the Initial Red Flags

Did any of the red flags we listed resonate with you? If so, you might be going through the first stage of addiction and this is the time to stop and reevaluate the way you consume your substance. 

Acting on the issue as soon as you start noticing signs of addiction can end up saving your life. So if you feel like you might have a problem, talk to someone you trust.

With a good support system and the right mindset, you can get over this phase and get your life back.

If you’d like to read more on how to deal with addiction, make sure to further explore our blog.