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Developing a Tolerance

What Does Developing a Tolerance Mean?

If you have developed a tolerance for something, it means that you need more of it to get the same effect. This is best understood with the help of an example. When people first begin abusing alcohol or drugs, they will usually become inebriated on a relatively small dose – if they take any more than this then they will become ill. Over time though, the individual will have to take more and more of the substance in order to reach the same state of inebriation. The person’s tolerance for these substances can be so high that they can handle doses that would probably kill other people.

Tolerance and Addiction

The fact that a person is developing increasing tolerance for alcohol or drugs is one of the signs that they have developed a physical addiction. It means that the person’s body has needed to adapt to the presence of the toxic substance and is now doing its best to manage this. One of the outcomes of tolerance is that the person will develop withdrawal symptoms should they decide to quit or reduce their intake – these withdrawal symptoms are another sign of physical addiction.

It is important to point out here that sometimes people will develop tolerance due to taking prescribed medication. While the process is similar it will not be usually be classified as being the same as alcohol or drug addiction – mostly because this tolerance will be medically supervised and the drug will be required for the person’s well being. This individual may suffer withdrawal symptoms if they were to stop using the drug suddenly, but the doctor will be able to wean them off this substance without too many negative side effects when the need arises. Some people will begin to abuse prescribed medication, and this will mean that they have crossed the line into drug addiction.

Dangers of Increased Tolerance for Alcohol or Drugs

Among substance abusers, there can be a sense of bravado about being able to consume large quantities of alcohol or drugs, but this is never a good thing. The fact that the person needs to take more of the substance in order to get the same effect is bad for a number of reasons including:

  • All drugs are toxic to the body, so the more that the person is consuming the more damage they will be doing to their body and mind.
  • This increased tolerance is a sign that the person has developed a physical addiction to the substance. Should they try to stop or reduce their intake suddenly they will suffer unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
  • Once the individual has reached the point of being physically addicted to alcohol or drugs, they have crossed a line from which they will never be able to come back from. This person will never be able to use these substances safely again – even if they manage to stay sober for decades they will kick off the addiction again by just one drink or one drug.
  • The fact that the person needs to invest financially more into feeding their habit is likely to mean that it will come from money that could be better spent elsewhere. The financial situation of the individual’s family may deteriorate as a result. Eventually the person may feel the need to turn to crime in order to support their habit.
  • As the person uses more of the substance, it will take over more of their life. They will reach a point where they are spending most of their time obtaining, using, getting over the effects of using, or thinking about the substance – this is not much of an existence.

What to Do If You Are Developing an Increasing Tolerance for Alcohol or Drugs

If you keep on needing to increase your intake of alcohol or drugs in order to get to the same point, this is an almost certain sign that you are in real trouble. The longer you remain trapped in addiction the more you will end up suffering, so it is vital that you break away from this behaviour as soon as possible. The nature of addiction is that you fall into a downward spiral. You will still have good days and bad days but as time goes on the good days become fewer. Addiction will destroy everything of value in your life, and it will be the cause of a great deal of suffering for your loved ones. It is vital that you stop this behaviour as soon as possible.

We Can Help You Escape Addiction Problems

You can take your first step of recovery from addiction by contacting us right away. We will be able to explain your options and tell you about the resources in your area – or elsewhere in the UK or abroad. We have plenty of experience with helping people deal with this type of problem, and many of our team have had their own personal struggles with alcohol or drugs. Your call will be completely confidential, and you will not be expected to commit to anything.

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