Life Cycle of Addiction
Breaking the Life Cycle of Addiction is Possible
by Jonathan Huttner
There is a distinct life cycle of addiction. At its roots, is a person experiencing emotional or physical pain. Perhaps they have had a death in the family, a romantic rejection or a debilitating injury that causes chronic pain.
This individual is basically a good person who has trouble dealing with the difficulty they are experiencing. He or she may be unable to resolve or confront the problem, and see their present situation as hopeless and unendurable.
While everyone has experienced similar situations like this from time to time, the difference between addicts and non-addicts is that addicts turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to resolve their problems or discomfort.
Drug and Alcohol Experimentation can Trigger the Cycle of Addition
In order to alleviate emotional or physical pain, the person experiments with drugs or alcohol. On the surface, the substances seem to work because the person feels better. The drugs or alcohol are now valuable to the person, because initially, their painkilling effects have helped him or her cope with uncomfortable issues. This pain release seems like the ideal cure for unwanted feelings so the person uses drugs or alcohol a second time, a third time, and so on.
Eventually, the person becomes fully addicted to drugs or alcohol, gradually increasing usage in order to continue recreating their euphoric effects. The person loses control and is trapped. The person's original problems are forgotten. All the person is concerned with now is satiating getting more drugs or alcohol. They are completely entrenched in the cycle of addiction and are unable, at this point, to see the untold health and emotional consequences.
Depression, Obsession and the Cycle of Addiction
As the addiction deepens, the person will begin hiding his or her drug use from loved ones. Ridden with guilt, the person may start to withdraw from family and friends. The person may become belligerent and start to behave oddly. These behaviors set off their own sequence of events: the more a person abuses drugs or alcohol, the guiltier they start to feel, the more depressed they become and the more they will turn to the substance to ease those feelings.
Once addicted, a person will sacrifice almost anything in an attempt to obtain more drugs or alcohol. Nothing is off limits - family and friends, jobs, savings, etc. Getting and using the substance is now the most vital thing in their life. Relationships and job performance suffer greatly and the person experiences a great deal of mental stress as a result of guilt and depression.
The cycle of addiction affects the body physically as well. The person's body has adapted to the presence of drugs or alcohol. If the person stops using drugs or alcohol without having the proper detox treatment, he or she will experience painful withdrawal symptoms. The person becomes obsessed with getting and using drugs or alcohol, in an effort to avoid withdrawal pain.
In addition to the mental stress created by this unethical behavior, the addict's body has also adapted to the presence of the drugs. He or she will experience and overwhelming obsession with getting and using their drugs, and will do anything to avoid the pain of withdrawing from them. The person is now physically and emotionally addicted to drugs or alcohol.
The "Drug Personality"
There is such a thing as a "drug personality." It is artificial and is created by drugs. Drugs can change the attitude of a person from their original personality to one secretly harboring hostilities and hatreds they do not permit to show on the surface.
A person with a drug personality may:
- Have mood swings
- Be unreliable
- Be unable to finish projects
- Have unexpressed resentment and secret hatreds
- Be dishonest and lie to family, friends and employers
- Isolate themselves and withdraw from those who love him
- Appear chronically depressed
- Begin stealing from family and friends
Craving is an extremely powerful urge and can cause a person to create all kinds of "reasons" they should continue using drugs or alcohol, even once they try to quit. The person is now trapped in the endless cycle of addiction: trying to quit, craving, fear of withdrawal, relapse.
Treatment Focused on Breaking the Cycle of Addiction
Traditional alcohol and drug addiction treatment focuses mainly on spiritual talk therapy, while the disease's underlying physiology is never addressed. Modern, more effective treatments focus on correcting the neurological imbalances caused by substance dependence; those imbalances are the direct cause of cravings and withdrawal symptoms which, if left untreated, lead directly to relapse. This new approach, along with nutritional supplements and aftercare psychosocial counseling empowers the patient with the ability to stay on the road to recovery.
Breaking the cycle of addiction is possible. Call the addiction helpline now at 877-794-0381. Staff is available 24/7 to assist you in getting help for your addiction. CALL NOW! All calls are confidential.
Learn more by reading all of our drug addiction articles.
Jonathan Huttner is one of the founders of , which has treated over 7,000 people from throughout the United States. Jonathan has been involved in the field of addiction and eating disorder treatment for the last 25 years.