The longer someone continues the ritual of addiction, the deeper entrenched it becomes, and the harder it can be to break the cycle. At this final stage of addiction, an individual cannot go a day without drinking or using their substance of choice. People may lose jobs or relationships and could even face homelessness in some situations. The longer an individual lives with a substance use disorder, the more inescapable addiction can feel.

What are the steps of the addiction cycle?

  • Initial use.
  • Abuse.
  • Tolerance.
  • Dependence.
  • Addiction.
  • Relapse.

Sometimes, the consequences that arise (legal, financial, medical or social) force the addict or alcoholic to stop using. However, in the absence of outside help, such as alcohol or drug detox followed by addiction treatment help, the substance abuse or addictive behavior is likely to return. The reasons why substance use disorders and mental disorders often occur together are not clear, and establishing the relationships between these conditions is difficult. Second, substance use disorders may increase vulnerability for mental disorders,62-64 meaning that the use of certain substances might trigger a mental disorder that otherwise would have not occurred. As these possibilities are not mutually exclusive, the relationship between substance use disorders and mental disorders may result from a combination of these processes.

The Addiction Cycle Explained

However, interference at this stage may be able to prevent a cycle of addiction. We believe in providing our clients with an environment which addresses each individual’s unique physical, emotional, and social needs, while adapting to their changes as they happen. Each person at BRBH has their own limits and goals, which are carefully prepared for and tailored around during their care.

cycle of addiction

CVRC uses an innovative form of reality therapy to provide relief from the effects of addiction. In a serene mountain setting, our compassionate team provides holistic forms of therapy and aftercare options. Inpatient centers require you to live there for the duration of your treatment while outpatient centers allow you to go about living your daily life at home and coming in for treatment and therapy. During the rehab process, you will attend meetings and therapy sessions to learn how to avoid letting addiction take over your life again. The brain tells the body that a particular substance is necessary for feeling better. At this point, there might not even be any signs that an addiction is forming.

Adolescence, Brain Change, and Vulnerability to Substance Use Disorders

Although the three stages of addiction generally apply to all addictive substances, different substances affect the brain and behavior in different ways during each stage of the addiction cycle. Differences in the pharmacokinetics of various substances determine the duration of their effects on the body and partly account for the differences in their patterns of use. For example, nicotine has a short half-life, which means smokers need to smoke often to maintain the effect. In contrast, THC, the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, has a much longer half-life.

Yes, addiction is a chronic condition, but with rehabilitation, determination and patience, it is possible to break the grip of the addiction cycle. Recovery Connection is the ultimate addiction recovery resource portal for information on the latest treatments, centers, and programs. Whether you’re looking for treatment or for aftercare options, we can point you in the right direction. Cannabinoids such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of marijuana, target the brain’s internal or endogenous cannabinoid system.