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Drug and Alcohol Abuse Progression Curve or “Jellinek Curve”

It is theorized that the primary problem in addiction isn’t so much a drug or alcohol problem as it is one of impaired coping mechanisms. If you were to read the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous you would find no where in the book that you have a drinking problem but rather a “thinking problem”. The drug addiction or the alcohol abuse is just a solution.. As an alcoholic or addict uses substances to cope with uncomfortable life situations, their ability to deal with these same situations sober becomes less and less. Over time, this failure to deal with life manifests itself in the form of many classic symptoms that can change over time making voluntary commitment into an addiction treatment center less likely over time.. Perhaps the best model of these changes is what is sometimes referred to as a “Jellinek Curve” or progression curve of addiction.

Demonstrated below is a standard progression curve which can be applied to both alcohol and drugs. Understand however, that progression rates and how long it takes to reach the bottom of the curve, do sometimes vary depending on the substances used, the frequency, and the amount. In looking at this curve it is very common that when a drug addict or alcoholic passes the point of “loss of ordinary willpower” they most always need a long term inpatient treatment center to change. By the time a family or a person seeking an addiction treatment center is reading this they are most likely past that point.

You can also download this file as a PDF.

Drug & Alcohol Intervention

Addiction is a problem that affects more than just the drug abuser. For more information on drug intervention or alcohol intervention, call 1-888-762-3730.
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