The vast majority of addicts and alcoholics will agree that the progression of the disease of addiction is exceedingly similar regardless of which specific substance is being abused. Initially, getting high or drunk is nothing short of an awesome time. It is fun, it is pleasurable, and it is often even described as euphoric. If getting high was not a particularly enjoyable experience, one-time use would probably be far more prevalent. Unfortunately it is not, and a favorable physical feeling combined with the addictive nature of most chemical substances leads to continued use. After the excitement wears off, it is not unusual for the addict to begin physically needing a substance in order to function normally. This is when physical and mental dependency begins to settle in, and use is no longer recreational. If an individual ceases use at this stage, he or she will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. They may not be too severe at this stage, but still uncomfortable enough to deter an addict from abstaining.
The Stages of Chemical Dependency
During the early stages of physical dependency, an addict may still experience some sort of euphoric feeling when they initially get high – though this feeling will inevitably last for smaller and smaller increments of time. Soon an addict will feel little to absolutely no pleasure, and consuming his or her substance of choice will become a necessity rather than an option. At this point, drug or alcohol use loses all sense of enjoyment. It is a common misconception that those who struggle with addiction enjoy using. Even if they vehemently claim to, this is often only a defense mechanism. The body physically needs drugs in order to function or survive, thus an addict will desperately try to convince his or her loved ones that he or she has everything under control. In many instances, the loved ones of the afflicted individual will have extreme difficulty understanding why he or she cannot stop if they want to – the issue of self-will comes into play in a major way. It is a mental, physical, and emotional addiction that overwhelms all other priorities and significances.
What Can You Do To Help?
If someone you love is battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the first step to getting them help is being open to educating yourself on the subject. Open your mind to the fact that despite how hard they try, simply quitting is far from an option. And past a certain point, using is far more torturous than it is pleasurable. Feel free to call one of our trained representatives to find out what you can do to help.