Stages of formation of alcoholic and narcotic dependence

Stages of dependency formation

Despite the fact that alcoholism and drug addiction are serious problems that lead to very serious consequences for the addict, and their treatment is carried out in similar conditions, the stages of their development have distinctive features. First of all, they depend on the type of substances used and the mechanism of action on the human body.

Unlike drug addiction, alcoholism does not develop instantly and even in a month – it forms gradually, so the final diagnosis is made not by one symptom, but in a complex manner.

Main stages in the formation of drug dependence

There are three main stages in the development of drug addiction:

First stage

It is psychological, and is often characterized by trivial curiosity. As a rule, young people want to try the “high” that drugs give, try to join the company where they are used, and so on.

In fact, this stage implies the first use of drugs, after which the person either completely stops or begins systematic drug use, followed by the development of stable dependence.

In case of continued use, a person is already consciously ashamed to get a “high”, plans to continue using drugs and is justified by the desire: to relieve stress, get away from problems, etc.

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    Second stage

    This stage is accompanied by a deterioration in the mental and physical health of the addict (with prolonged cessation of use) – withdrawal symptoms appear, accompanied by unbearable physical and psychological suffering.

    At the second stage, there is already a stable mental and physical dependence on the drug – it is virtually impossible to get rid of the problem on your own.

    The main symptoms are:

    • Loss of control over one’s own behavior: aggression, disobedience, theft;
    • Conflict situations in the family, problems with study or work;
    • A sharp change in the circle of friends, distance from close people, conflicts with old friends, acquaintances.

    Third stage

    It is the most difficult one. Structural physiological and mental changes occur in the human body. Drugs are no longer used for the sake of “high”, but as an urgent need, because the addict feels a constant need for the drug, and when he stops using, even for a short period, he feels physical pain and psychological suffering.

    To find the next dose of drugs, the addict uses any methods: from taking things out of the apartment, to stealing from close people and outright criminals.

    The patient’s psyche is completely upset: there is complete apathy for everything except drugs, chronic diseases develop, suicide attempts and death due to drug overdose are possible.

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    Main stages of formation of alcohol dependence

    There are three main stages in the development of alcohol dependence:

    First stage

    A key symptom of stage 1 development is the loss of the gag reflex, even when drinking a lot of alcohol. The result is an increase in the volume of alcohol consumed, which leads to partial or complete memory lapses – in the morning a person has little or no memory of what is happening while drinking.

    Another symptom that determines the initial development of alcoholism is the frequency of alcohol intake, up to 2-3 times a week. A feature is that on the second day after drinking, there is no aversion to alcohol, which allows you to continue drinking further, up to several days in a row.

    The patient may have positive memories of the former state of alcoholic intoxication, he may look for a reason for drinking, selects excuses for his behavior during drunkenness, is active in anticipation of drinking, gradually increases the dose of alcohol drunk, small doses of alcohol become uninteresting and do not satisfy desires.

    Second stage

    This stage of development of alcoholism is accompanied by a partial awareness of his own problem on the part of the alcoholic. In some cases, the patient may try not to drink, but after a short interval, the desire to stop goes away. With moderate intoxication, a person may show increased performance.

    Drinking alcohol becomes constant, the patient can drink for several days in a row, taking only short breaks to attend work. He may also experience insomnia if he does not use it in the evening.

    Systematic memory lapses arising in the process of “binge” intensify, the patient can completely forget what is happening during the binge. In addition to psychological, physical dependence is added, in the morning the alcoholic feels a hangover.

    Third stage

    The third stage is the most difficult and can threaten the patient with a fatal outcome. During this period, the alcoholic manifests itself “delirium tremens”, many addicts have cardiovascular insufficiency, there is a complete mental and social degradation of the personality.

    In a thirst for another dose of alcohol, the alcoholic becomes aggressive, tries to deceive close people, steals, can take things out of the house in order to sell and buy alcohol.

    Withdrawal symptoms become physically unbearable, the patient practically does not come out of the drunken state, vital interests disappear.

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