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Addicts and family members of addicts have most likely heard before that addiction is a disease and one that highly affects the brain. Addiction affects the brain when drugs are present and when drugs are not present. Having a loved one who is an addict can even begin to influence that person’s brain. The power of the human mind is remarkable and there is a reason why Alcohol Treatment Centers Seattle implements different forms of therapy for addiction treatment. Addiction recovery has stages beginning with the addiction, the time the addict realizes they have a problem and need help, and hopefully ends with learning to accept the addiction, then living in recovery.
Alcohol Treatment Centers Seattle guides patients through this transformation and gives them all the tools to sustain abstinence into the future.

The First Stage of Addiction

When an individual has something going on in their life that is unnatural or wrong sometimes it isn’t recognized or they feel like cannot control it and therefore don’t try to make a change. The influence of drugs on the brain makes the user crave the substance and that can make them feel powerless because that is the human reaction. Denial acts as the brain’s defense mechanism so when addicts are confronted it can be difficult for them to admit their problem, they may have overdosed unintentionally due to drug use but when asked if their drug use affects their quality of life they will say no. This can continue on for years. Forms of Denial:

  • Deflection or blaming others
  • Reflection by blaming the person who confronts them
  • Minimizing their use making it seem less extreme
  • Rationalizing giving excuses for use such as job problems or other people.

Once the addict experiences the consequences of their drug use in the form of something serious or traumatic then they may get a glimpse of the fact that they do have a problem.

The Second Stage of Addiction

A traumatic event such as the loss of an addicted friend or getting a dui can end the oblivion the addict is living in. This doesn’t mean they will gladly go get treatment or will accept treatment but they realize that their drug abuse or addiction isn’t healthy. This is often called “rock bottom” self-esteem is at an all time low, and the addict starts to realize all that they have done due to their addiction.

  • Loss of Friends – seeking only companions who are drug users
  • Finances- drugs and alcohol get expensive when used in abuse
  • Legal- addicts often find themselves in trouble for DUI, buying drugs, or public intoxication.
  • Career- there is only so long one can be a functioning addict before the drug abuse interrupts and causes loss of job.
  • Overdose

Unfortunately, low self-esteem and the loss of so much can make the addict feel hopeless believing that even treatment couldn’t help. Intervention can help the addict become aware that they have a choice and give treatment a try.

The Third Stage of Addiction

Whether treatment is mandated, forced or the addict chooses to give it a try, after the completion of detox they will become even more aware of their addiction. Detox flushes the substances from the body and breaks the physical addiction so that the addict now has a clear mind set. Treatment with therapy and counseling from addiction specialists help addicts realize the power they have over their mind and body. Learning to become self-reliant, and that depending on drugs is unhealthy allows patients to slowly absorb healthy coping skills. However, mistakes happen and remaining conscious of them is the difficult part. Realizing a mistake and not falling back into the cycle of addiction takes putting the self-reliance to the test and admitting the mistake. If this can happen they accept their addiction and recognize when they need help. This stage is long and when specialists talk about the road to recovery being long it is because addiction recovery has obstacles that will continue to test patients.

The Fourth Stage of Addiction

Becoming self-actualized meaning that everything the addict learned in recovery such as the coping skills and behavioral changes no longer requires thinking but becomes natural. Triggers no longer promote drug use. For instance, an addict in stage three who gets fired from their job not because of drug use but because the company simply has to cut back. That person most likely will need to do everything in their power to refrain from relapse. Calling sponsors, going to a meeting and really drawing on their learned relapse prevention. In stage four, a person in the same predicament would accept that it simply was out of their control and move forward, they may be upset and mad but drug use is no longer an option.
If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction and need help working your way through the recovery transformation call Alcohol Treatment Centers Seattle today.

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