Sober living

Break the cycle of addiction with these strategies to keep dopamine in check : Life Kit : NPR

The information provided by is not a substitute for professional treatment advice. To speak to a treatment specialist about alcohol addiction treatment options. This cycle looks different for each person, but it progresses through six stages. This is marked by the onset of cravings when a person does not get access to the substances they want and need. In some situations, the drug is no longer a recreational choice. During this first stage, a person is trying the substance for the first time. Family environment, family belief systems, and drug availability play a role here.

cycle of addiction

Cravings and temptations are exclusively for their choice of drug or alcohol, and nothing in life can take priority over procuring and abusing the substance. Addiction can’t happen until you start abusing the substance. For prescription drugs, it might mean taking larger doses than necessary. She began to use alcohol in place of medication to help her sleep and as a mental health “treatment” for anxiety. Leah’s 21st birthday was her initial use or initial exposure.


By identifying the phases of addiction, it becomes possible to recognize the pattern and work toward a lifestyle that exists beyond the stages of addiction. When someone is in the throes of addiction, cravings grow so intense that they become all-consuming. It can get to the point that using drugs or alcohol becomes the most important thing in their life—even more important than life itself. When someone’s caught in the vicious cycle of addiction, the possibility of breaking free is often the last thing on their minds, especially when they’ve tried and failed before. The good news is that it is possible to break the cycle of addiction, no matter how daunting it may seem. He earned a Bachelor’s degree at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania while pursuing his CAC-AD. With strong ties to Victory Christian Church and the 12-step community, Federico shares an amazing personal story of redemption and long-term recovery.

What are the 4 pillars of recovery?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, these four pillars are health, home, purpose and community.

This can perpetuate the cycle, leading to substance abuse and a renewed addiction. Once Leah became dependent on alcohol for physical and emotional reasons, she reached the stage of addiction. And it has harmful effects on their lives, but the consequences don’t make them stop drinking. During cycle of addiction the stage of addiction, if a person doesn’t have access to their “drug of choice,” they experience withdrawal symptoms. It typically takes a lot of time for it to occur as the brain and behaviors change. Repeated substance abuse that happens over a period of time leads to these changes.

Dependence / Addiction

Something also worth mentioning is that when it comes to illicit drugs, abuse begins the first time they are used. These drugs include the likes of heroin, cocaine, or LSD, and are very dangerous due to their addictive nature. The grey areas come when substances such as tobacco or prescription meds are thrown into the mix. The best way to put substance abuse is using a particular substance to achieve a high or euphoric response.

  • When people are in the precontemplation stage, they are often not very interested in hearing about negative consequences or advice to quit their addiction.
  • According to some studies, those who suffer from mild addiction develop anywhere from two to three of these symptoms.
  • Although drugs work as a temporary escape, they do nothing to solve the issues that upset us.
  • Eventually, in the absence of the substance, a person may experience negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, or depression, or feel physically ill.
  • These drugs include the likes of heroin, cocaine, or LSD, and are very dangerous due to their addictive nature.

These changes in brain chemistry create addiction, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms, which all lead to cravings. Additionally, certain places that remind you of your addiction can be triggers, too. Addiction to a substance can lead directly to structural changes within the brain that make controlling that addiction even more difficult. The brain is there to regulate your body’s basic functions, enable you to interpret and respond,, and create and form your behavior.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *