the cycle of addiction

the cycle of addiction

the cycle of addiction

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One might wonder what it means to “let yourself” fall prey to an addiction. Understanding addiction and how it affects your life is a difficult task.

Addiction is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses. Millions of peoples are affected by it daily.

The Cycle Of Addiction

The society of Addiction Medicine defines dependence as a treatable medical condition. This includes complex communication among brain circuits.

Over time, a person can develop a substance use disorder (SUD) and it progresses to addiction. There are many circumstances that can lead to an individual becoming addicted to alcohol or another substance.


The first stage of the addiction process is initiation. It occurs when an individual first attempts a substance. This could include the act of having your first drink as a teenager, getting a prescription after an injury for pain management, or taking medication to treat a mental illness like depression or anxiety. It could also include opioids used to treat pain or benzodiazepines prescribed for anxiety, insomnia, or seizures.

If the first time you have been exposed to drugs, it may be difficult for you to recognize that there is a problem.


Experimentation, the second stage of addiction, is called “experimentation.” This stage includes alcohol or drugs becoming part of social behavior that is related to having fun or relieving stress. This could be a glass with friends after work or when dining out.

Daily Use

The third stage of the addiction cycle involves the daily use of one or several substances. A person’s daily use of one or more substances is called habitual use. Individuals may not be able to consume alcohol or drugs only in social settings. They might also begin to drink or take up drug use alone as the substance becomes more significant to them.

Hazardous Use

The fourth stage is hazardous to use. This stage sees the person develop dangerous habits such as driving under the effects of alcohol or other drugs. Substance abuse can prevent you from succeeding in school, at work, or in any other social function. Substance use can cause problems with relationships with your family, friends, or significant other.


The fifth stage is dependency. At this stage, the individual starts to develop a tolerance and needs to drink a lot to feel the same effects. A person may feel withdrawal symptoms or a craving for alcohol or other drugs if they are not given enough.


Addiction, the sixth stage of an addiction cycle, is a mental health condition that involves a persistent mental disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders lists conditions that can lead to addiction or substance use disorders.


The treatment stage is the seventh step in the addiction cycle. An effective addiction therapy program can be used to help individuals identify and fix the root reason for their addiction. Additionally, it will teach them coping skills to prevent future relapses.


Recovery is the last step in the addiction process with the aim of preventing relapse. Relapse does no mean the individual is in danger. Relapse is not a sign of failure.

The cycle of addiction may feel like a never-ending loop. A person who is struggling with addiction should stop trying to escape the cycle and commit to making life changes. A long-lasting, successful recovery requires continued care.

There are many rehab facilities that can help those struggling with addiction. These facilities provide a safe and structured environment for patients to detox and begin the process of recovery.