When you think about the recovery journey, you realize it takes time and commitment. What you may not consider is that addiction took time also You didn't just wake up one day addicted to a substance. It happened over time. For some, it may have taken years and for others only a short period. We all have a different addiction timeline. The stages of addiction are often the same; it is only how long you remain in each stage that differs. Understanding these stages can help you determine when to reach out for help from a Florida drug rehab program when you notice them impacting your life or the life of a loved one. Getting Started We don't completely know what makes one person more prone to becoming addicted than another. We do know, however, that it is all set in motion with that first drink or that first experimentation with drugs. There are certain traits you can look to that may indicate you are at risk of addiction, but there is no clear picture. The only way you can be absolutely positive is never to take that first step. At this point, something is triggered inside your brain. You don't see or feel any different, but the stages of addiction have begun. Developing a Pattern As time passes, you develop a pattern to your use. Maybe you only party on weekends but maintain sobriety during the week. Others may have a daily drink to wind down every evening before they can sleep. You start to plan your activities around the substance of your choice. Maybe you won't attend a church gathering, even though the church was always a major part of your social life, because you can't drink. Perhaps you won't participate in your niece's birthday party because there won't be drugs. Basically, your social life is entirely based around the use of the substance, and anything else is done without enthusiasm. Getting Risky As the stages of addiction continue, your behavior begins to take on risk. You keep using, even though you know you are putting your job or relationship at risk. This is the stage where you may drive while under the influence, then even turn up to court having imbibed. You still give the impression that you have control, but at this point, the substance has taken hold, and control is an illusion. This is when you may start to question your use yourself or find yourself the subject of an intervention by those who love you. You may be facing ultimatums at home or work. You know you are heading for trouble, but you can't stop, even though you may try to convince yourself that you can. Intervention from an addiction treatment program can help, but you must take the first step and reach out. Dependence Once you have reached this stage, your mind and body rely on the substance for day to day living. If you deny your body, the brain will send out alarms that indicate you are in danger, and your body will react with a number of withdrawal symptoms. These can be as mild as an upset stomach and panic to something resembling the worst case of flu you ever had. A medical drug detox center can help with the most severe withdrawal symptoms, which can be life-threatening in some cases. In many cases, this is the most important first step to a lasting recovery. Substance Use Disorder The last of the stages of addiction is often seen when you have lost just about everything important to you. You may have lost your job, your relationship, and your health. Your self-esteem and self-respect may be memories as the drug takes control of every aspect of your life. Stages of Recovery Just as addiction occurs in steps, recovery also is a series of steps. The first step toward your recovery is to reach out to an intake staff member at Lucida Treatment Center at . We will follow you through the steps from detox through aftercare and beyond. Taking that first step away from something that has become such a large part of your life is scary, but we believe you have the strength to do so.