Does every drug user become addicted?
Does the consumption of substances irremediably lead to addiction? No. A person will become addicted if and only if certain conditions or variables that allow the development of an addiction are given.
We'll talk about addiction when we talk about dependence. This implies that the person is related to a substance from a need. He needs to consume and if there is no substance he becomes anguished, irritated and suffers the symptoms of abstinence. Let's see this in more detail.
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The relationship between consumption and addictions
Imagine a staircase with three steps. Each step is of a different color. In the first, green, we have the use of substances. In this case we speak of a simple consumption, not problematic, sporadic. East does not have short or long term difficulties and does not present very serious consequences .
The second step, yellow, puts us on alert. It is about the abuse of substances that refers to a more complicated use. We can already think of an excess, lack of control and setting limits. It can be an occasional but excessive use. The substance abuser, after consumption will observe some difficulties and unpleasant consequences. From drinking too much alcohol and making a piece of paper to cause an accident.
Finally, in the red step, higher, we locate the most problematic consumption, which is addiction or dependence. The object of addiction becomes priority in the life of the person . The need to consume leads the person to perform acts that otherwise would not. Think all day to consume, work to consume, or steal to consume; In short, the addict lives to consume. The consequences are serious, on a personal level, (physically and psychologically), work, family, social or legal. Starting a treatment in this instance is fundamental.
As we mentioned at the beginning, not all those who make a simple use of a substance will go to worse scales , that is, not every consumer will be addicted.
If the substance user climbs a step, it will transform its simple use into something that goes around the excess and the risk. And if he climbs one more step, he will find himself trapped in himself, in his need to consume whatever happens.
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The staircase ... unidirectional?
A person can stay in the first step without having problems related to consumption. Or go up to the second step and stay there, occasionally having problems of excess and uncontrol , or you can also keep moving forward and reach the top. This is the path of addiction, gradually rising, so that consumption is necessarily increasing. That is the path of ascent.
Regarding the decline, in the recovery of an addiction there are different theories and models. On the one hand we have the model of risk and damage reduction , that will help a person who has decided to consume to do it in the most responsible and careful way possible, without seeking abstinence as a goal.
From this model you can think that a person who reached the level of addiction can descend to the level of abuse and try to moderate it, and can even reach the first step, supporting a simple and responsible use of substances.
On the other hand, abstentionist models They maintain that whoever has reached the degree of addiction and decides to recover can not consume again, even in a moderate way. Doing so could mean losing control again and restarting the path to addiction. Therefore, following the idea of the ladder, an addict could not go down to the second or first step. Directly should not approach or flirt with consumption.
So, abstinence yes or no? As each case is unique, the recovery strategy will vary according to the characteristics of the people and the type of link they have established with the substances. Therefore, there is no single valid method or model for all cases of people with problematic substance use. That is why the direction of the staircase will be defined by each person.