Substance abuse becomes so compelling for many people because of the cycle of addiction. Drugs and alcohol activate the reward system in a person’s body and compel them to abuse these substances. As a result, it is very easy for this substance abuse to become a pattern of behavior that can seem impossible to escape for the addicted person. Thankfully, a growing number of people are getting rehab to put this cycle to an end. Read on to learn more about the different stages of addiction and how the cycle of addiction could impact you or your loved one who is struggling with addiction.
The Stages Common in Addiction
The cycle of addiction typically begins as a small behavior that seems unimportant. Individuals might not think that their behavior will lead to addiction at this stage in the addiction cycle. For example, a person may have their first drink of alcohol or a shot of heroin and experience their euphoric effects. Often, people do not use these substances again for extended periods of time, but the idea of the drug stays in their minds. As a result, they are likely to progress through the various stages in the cycle of addiction, including:
- First use – For many people, the cycle of addiction never gets beyond their first use of a drug. For these people, this stage is a period of experimentation that ends after the first use. However, others move on to the second stage of addiction
- Regular use – Those who pass out of the early stage become users with a pattern of regular use – this includes using only on the weekends or during sporting events
- Dangerous use – At this point, use goes beyond occasional times and includes behaviors such as driving while impaired, at work, or engaging in unprotected sex
- Dependence – Addiction has developed at this point – a person needs a substance to feel healthy and typically experiences withdrawal symptoms if they stop
- Substance use disorder – By now, a person has become entirely dependent on their drug and experience physical, emotional, and social issues as a result of their use
The increasing intensity of a person’s drug abuse typically happens over an extended period of time. This is because addiction is a cyclical experience and one that feeds on itself. As a result, it is crucial to understand this factor when considering rehab. Just as importantly, it is essential to ensure that you get the detailed help necessary for your full recovery.
How These Stages Become a Cycle of Addiction
The stages mentioned above become a cycle of addiction due to the unique ways drugs interact with the body. When a person takes a drug, they experience a high that they cannot get in any other way. Some people end up desiring that high consistently and become depressed or anxious if they cannot achieve it.
As a result, they turn to drugs – usually in increasing amounts – to get the high that they want. Unfortunately, their body then becomes dependent on these drugs and demands them at a higher level. This creates a cycle of addiction that is fed with emotional and psychological troubles as well.
Do You Need Help?
If the cycle of addiction has caught you in its grasp, you should call 866.262.0531 right away to learn more. Our professionals at Crestview Recovery have years of experience working in this field. We can provide partial hospitalization, extended care therapy, dual-diagnosis, and many other treatments to help you with recovery from addiction. Additionally, we also have amenities such as skiing and snowboarding! Verify your insurance to get started on the road to recovery today.