After a night of drinking alcohol or single experimentation of an illicit drug, you are not likely to wake up struggling with addiction to a substance. Substance addiction is a complex issue that involves a series of stages perpetuated by physiological, psychological, and emotional dependency. Learn about the cycle of addiction and commit to an addiction treatment program today.
What Is Addiction?
Drug and alcohol addiction is a neurological disorder. It is marked by an obsessive and compulsive need for drugs or alcohol despite the negative consequences. The research shows that the chemical and physiological structure of an addicted brain is different from a normal one. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how addiction happens.
What Is the Cycle of Addiction?
The cycle of addiction involves six distinct stages: Initial use, abuse, tolerance, dependence, addiction, and relapse.
The initial use happens when an individual experiment with drugs or alcohol to perhaps alleviate emotional or physical pain. Other people may try out drugs for recreational purposes to have fun.
Even though addiction does not happen after the initial use, it is the beginning of the cycle. Once the drug or alcohol alleviates the discomfort or brings about an exciting experience, the person may want to try one more time.
Following their initial use, the person increases the use of the drug or alcohol to bring about the desired effects of being high. At this stage, the person is in a constant attempt to satisfy the strong cravings for drugs and alcohol.
After prolonged abuse of drugs and alcohol, the brain develops some significant changes in response to the substance. At this stage, the initial dosage does not bring about the same physical and emotional effects the person once experienced.
This makes the individual resort to a higher dosage and frequency in a bid to recapture the original effect. This new dosage will work for some time, after which there will be a need to increase the dosage. Resultantly, there will be an exponential progression of heavy substance abuse.
Some of the changes that the brain may develop include loss of some chemical receptors or a significant decrease in chemical production. Over time, the person enters the next stage of addiction: dependence.
At this point, the person cannot function without the drug or alcohol. It becomes extremely hard for them to find pleasure without taking the drug, and their life may begin falling apart. Some of the symptoms of dependence may include:
- Insatiable cravings for the substance
- Inability to carry out daily responsibilities
- A decrease in participation in daily activities
- Spending a lot of time using the substance
After a long period of substance abuse, the individual reaches the addiction stage. This is a mental health disorder that results from continuous drug use despite harmful consequences. At this stage, health, financial, social, and emotional consequences appear. This may lead the individual to seek out professional help.
After seeking treatment or after trying to quit without help, withdrawal symptoms, or other factors in the person’s life may trigger them back into the compulsive behavior of addiction. The relapse stage is usually a long, mentally tiring process that can sometimes involve guilt and shame. Individuals may feel trapped, helpless, and out of control of their addiction.
Interrupt the Cycle of Addiction at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
It is possible to interrupt the cycle of addiction and relapse by seeking professional help at a reputable addiction treatment center. At Georgia Addiction Treatment Center, we offer an array of comprehensive treatment options that help those who are struggling to develop the right tools for managing their recurring conditions. Some of the addiction therapies that we offer include but not limited to:
- Dialectical behavior therapy program
- Group therapy
- Trauma-focused treatment
- Family therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Stuck in the cycle of addiction? Don’t give up. Find compassionate care at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center and learn how to interrupt the addiction cycle. Contact Georgia Addiction Treatment Center at 833.641.0661 to schedule an appointment.