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Pre-Addiction: What it is and Why it Should Be Taken Seriously in Addiction Treatment

Someone seeking addiction care may have already suffered several painful losses in their lives. An addict can rob someone of their happiness, job, friends, and family, and can impair their autonomy. Identification of “pre-addiction” as an early indicator of addiction could boost greater awareness of the risks associated with early-stage substance use disorder.

What is Pre-Addiction?

Pre-Addiction is an informal term to describe someone in the early stages of problematic addiction that has not yet experienced the full substance use disorder. It’s arguable that this early stage of addiction is a perfect opportunity for preventative intervention to keep addiction from escalating to more harmful levels. 

A person facing pre-addiction might still have some level of control over their substance use. They may have witnessed adverse repercussions in their career performance, or even their personal relationships, but they may still believe they can stop at any time. Addiction may make them constantly crave a drug, yet they may not realize the significance of drug use on their physical and social health. One might lack the motivation to stop using. This places a person on the precipice between more extreme substance use and professional help. If an effort is made to make professional help available, we could positively affect the number of severe addiction cases.

Why the Concept of Pre-Addiction is Important to Treatment

The belief that someone must experience “bottom” before treatment can work is erroneous. Damage is already done by the time treatment is available, and the road to recovery is significantly more difficult. Furthermore, the best time to seek help is as soon as possible. Unfortunately, when someone seeks assistance early, society—family and friends, coworkers, healthcare systems—fail to perceive their problems as significant. They may even outright dismiss or deny an issue exists because it hasn’t reached notable severity yet.

Supporting the rebranding of mild to moderate substance use disorder as a common behavioral health issue might normalize and further destigmatize harmful substance use. This may also raise awareness of its health risks, without requiring the professional interventions needed to treat addiction. However, interventions should confirm that the pre-addiction label does not lead to a stigma of the individuals to whom it is applied. This will be challenging, in particular, if drug use is decriminalized. Unless drug use is decriminalized, the fear of disclosure will be challenging to the concept of screening for and medically treating substance use.

Change is Needed

Whether it’s reworking the concept or a fresh standpoint, it’s crucial to recognize addiction as a condition with a past. A chronology of rising substance use. Especially if environmental and personal historical circumstances and genetic risk factors have contributed to the issue. Those in the early phases of a substance use disorder will have the power to contain its progression. If they know more about the potential negative ramifications of substance use it will urge them to make a change.

We need to prioritize giving people with substance use disorder the opportunities to prevent their disorder from worsening. If the tools necessary for prevention were made more widely available and accessible to those affected, perhaps the statistic of fatal overdoses and high rates of substance abuse could be reduced.

Detox With Briarwood

Briarwood Detox Center offers detox treatment for alcohol, opioid, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, and much more. Our experienced clinical staff provides round-the-clock monitoring throughout the detox process and our therapy team provides support to help manage the emotional response to treatment. Additionally, we have detox facilities located in Austin, Houston, and Colorado Springs with state-of-the-art amenities.

Briarwood is dedicated to facilitating a healthy and safe environment that empowers people to make significant and lasting changes in their lives. We look forward to supporting you or your loved one on the journey to recovery. Call (512) 277 – 3103 today for more information on our programs and admission process.

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