• Scott McClure

Recreational Drug Use and Addiction: Where to Draw the Line?


Addicts don’t plan on getting addicted to the drug they’re taking. For most of them, the use of alcohol or drugs starts recreationally. It may be getting high at a party with your friends, or getting drunk on a night out. Before they realize it, the addiction takes a hold over their bodies and taking drugs or drinking alcohol is no longer just for fun, it’s necessary.


The line between recreational use and addiction can get blurred pretty fast. You may just think of recreationally using a drug because what’s the harm in that, right? After all, you can stop anytime you want, it’s just harmless fun. Or not.


In reality, drug addiction can sneak up on you without you even knowing it. Let’s take a look at how recreation use can turn into addiction.

 

The Five Stages


The crossover from harmless use to full-blown addiction usually starts in this manner:

1. Experimentation


This is the first time you try the drug. It may be because you’re curious and want to experiment, or perhaps it is peer pressure, or you want to fit in with your friends.

2. Recreational Use

Once you’ve tried it, you find that you actually like the resultant high you get. Intake becomes more frequent, such as on the weekends.

3. Regular Misuse

Things start to escalate from here on. It is actually the point where you’ve crossed the threshold of addiction. You regularly start misusing drugs, to the point that it starts adversely affecting your life.


4. Dependence


This is the point where the drugs have invaded and taken over a significant part of your life. While you may still be functioning in the society, you still rely on drugs to get you through. You have become both, physically and emotionally, drug dependent.


5. Addiction


This is the last stage; a point from which you can’t return that easily. Your life revolves around drug abuse and you will do whatever it takes to get your drug of choice, regardless of the consequences.

What Causes the Addiction to Take Control?

Once you’re addicted, your free will ceases to be. Think of it as your mind and body being held hostage by a couple of chemicals. Essentially, drug can alter the way your brain works. Its intake produces neurotransmitters known as dopamine that are associated with pleasure. As you start increasing your intake, less and less dopamine is produced, causing you to take even more, thus starting a vicious cycle.


Other complicated alterations can cause addiction to seem like a death knoll. But know that it is not. Help is always one step away.


Help is Available


Here at Life Launch, we offer aftercare treatment in the form of sober living homes and halfway houses in Houston, Texas. Our transitional sober living home can help recovering clients battle relapse and lead healthier, happier lives.


Call us now on 713.266.1507 for more details.

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