Explaining A Cycle Of Addiction

Substance abuse and brain chemistry changes can cause addiction. It is perpetuated with psychological, physiological, and emotional dependency. This vicious circle of addiction can continue unabated until there is some kind of intervention (legal, family, self-intervention, etc). Essence Health & Wellness takes into account different treatment methods, ensuring that each patient receives a personalized recovery.

What Is The Cycle Of Addiction?

Substance addiction is a brain condition, according to research. Consider addiction a brain condition to understand its development and rehabilitation.

External or internal upheaval can terminate addiction. Recovery may take months or years. Addicts and alcoholics may recognize the cycle, but they can’t break it until they seek assistance.

Addiction Defined

Addiction can also be defined as obsessive or compulsive seeking of drugs, alcohol, food, and sex, regardless of any negative consequences. Addiction can be described as the development of tolerance, along with withdrawal symptoms. A drug addict or an alcoholic will have intense physical cravings for the drug. Abusing drugs and alcohol can lead to addiction. Abuse initiates the gradual process of addiction.


An experiment with drugs or alcohol can help to ease emotional or physical pain. Or, one might use drugs or alcohol in a social setting to have fun and try again. Feeling relieved of any discomfort, the person will continue to drink or use drugs or alcohol a second and third time.


The desire to feel euphoric and escape reality soon becomes a habit. The original problems remain unattended or are not resolved. Even if there were no problems at the beginning of use, it is likely that problems will develop later.


A lot of effort and time is required to acquire alcohol or drugs. Once the addict/alcoholic is deeply involved in the cycle of abuse, their health, financial, and social consequences begin.

Drug Addiction And Alcoholism On The Brain

The brain and neurotransmitters function differently when drugs and alcohol are used. These changes in brain chemicals can lead to addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

The neurotransmitters, dopamine (serotonin) and dopamine, send messages to both the brain & the rest of our bodies. For altered brain chemistry to occur, you must have repeated exposure to the substance in order to function psychologically and physiologically. Tolerance to the substance can lead to withdrawal symptoms. These are the two most obvious signs of substance abuse addiction.

The Cycle Of Addiction

The Cycle Of Addiction Is Characterized By:

Frustration, internal pain, and the need to get relief from these symptoms can lead to anxiety.

You might fantasize about using drugs or alcohol to ease the symptoms

Engaging or attempting to engage in addictive behavior, such as using substances to obtain relief (acting out)

Losing control of the behavior

Feelings like guilt, shame, and regret can lead you to feel dissatisfied.

It is possible to make a vow or resolve to yourself to stop using drugs or behave differently.

After a certain time, the pain stops and the addict has the urge to use again.

Breaking The Cycle Of Addiction

The stages and relationships between recovery and addiction can be matched with some of those in the model.

  • Contemplation: The addict is now considering changing his/her behavior.
  • Preparation A person who is addicted to drugs and alcohol may be mentally or physically preparing for a change.
  • Action Addiction has taken a step to get help, such as counseling, self-help group, or treatment. The addict has stopped using and received treatment.
  • Maintenance Following a recovery program, the addict will continue to maintain his/her new lifestyle and behavior.
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