Alcohol and drug addiction is a disease with biological, neurological, genetic and environmental source of origin.
In the beginning stage of alcohol and drug use, people experiment with either one or both to find out how it affects the body and mind. A feeling of euphoria, tranquility, and heightening of energy may prevail. Release from mental, emotional and physical distress may also be experienced. If the person enjoys the feelings and relates to the experience, the experimental stage can move into the abuse stage.
Frequent misuse of alcohol and other drugs to obtain the same feelings in the experimental stage can create physical and mental dependency. Physical tolerance of larger doses occur and the mind craves alcohol and other drugs to feel good. Whenever drugs and alcohol are withheld from the system, physical and mental distress are experienced. The continued use of higher doses leads into the addictive stage.
In the addictive stage, a pattern of compulsive use marked by a loss of control over the ability to regulate use or to abstain are experienced. The addict begins to live an addictive lifestyle with others that use and encounters legal problems, loss of jobs, family, friends, and healthy social activities. Temporary or permanent mental and physical conditions can result from the effect of chronic alcohol and drug toxicity to the body and mind. Physical tolerance excels and physical withdrawal symptoms are experienced when drugs and alcohol are withheld. Admission into a detox program is the first step in recovery from drugs and alcohol.