Stages of Addiction

picture of Joe Gilmore
Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

November 9, 2021

Table of Contents

If you suspect that you are addicted to a substance, you may have wondered how you got to that point. It’s a common question that people may think about once they’re in the predicament of drug addiction. 

If you are walking through one of the stages of addiction, get the addiction treatment you need at Renaissance Recovery by calling [Direct] today.

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Understanding the Stages of Addiction

When you first begin using a substance, you’re in the initial stages of use, and addiction hasn’t occurred yet. It still could be illegal use of drugs if you did not get the drug through legal means (i.e., from a doctor’s written prescription). With a drug that you cannot use legally, such as heroin or cocaine, then the use of these is classified as abuse. However, abuse can occur with a legal prescription too. This happens when you use prescription medications in any of the following ways:

  • Taking too much of your medication
  • Using the medication to get high
  • Taking the mediation in a way that is not prescribed, such as in snorting or injecting it
  • Taking the medication when you don’t need it

Over time, your body develops a tolerance for the substance, which means it’s getting used to it. The amount you initially took doesn’t have the same effect as it once did. When this happens, people tend to increase their dosage. This enhances the medication’s effect but adds to the cycle of addiction and use. It’s only a matter of time before you need yet another higher dose of the drug to feel its effects.

As you are increasing how many drugs you take, your body begins to depend on it, meaning some withdrawal symptoms will occur if you quit.

To break the cycle of addiction will require some discomfort as you go through the withdrawal and recovery phases. Working with a professional therapist provides you the best outcome. 

Stages of Addiction Recovery

When you begin your journey to quit taking a substance, you will go through a few different stages.

  1. Drug detox: The first stage you’ll go through during is the detox stage. This happens as you are eliminating the drug from your body after quitting its use. It’s vital to go through this stage with the aid of medical experts to ensure safety.
  2. Addiction therapies: As you pass through the detox phase, you will be ready to delve into the inner part of your emotions to determine what led to drug addiction. It could be due to past trauma or an addictive personality. Some people have mental health disorders that drive them to use drugs. You will uncover this during therapy sessions.
  3. Relapse prevention: Part of therapy will be learning how to cope in the real world without drugs. You will need to learn strategies and mechanisms to overcome the temptations of drug use.

Find Help for Addiction at Renaissance Recovery

A haven of peace and tranquility await you at Renaissance Recovery. Our compassionate therapists will guide you through the stages of addiction and on to a brighter and healthier future. Our California addiction treatment center offers industry leading rehab programs, and counselors that care about your recovery. We will be there to help you put your life back together again.

Evidence-based therapies are the foundation of our work. Let us walk beside you during this time and guide you to find the way to healing and hope. 

Our broad range of treatment programs is here to assist you. Some of these include:

Don’t let addiction hold you back in life. Now that you know more about stages of addiction, you can find hope by reaching out to Renaissance Recovery. Contact Renaissance Recovery at [Direct] today, and we’ll get you on the right pathway today!866.330.9449



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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