In many ways, addiction is a unique illness. It can develop for a number of reasons, and it impacts individuals in a variety of ways. However, addiction can also be formulaic in some respects. Take a look at the various stages in the cycle of addiction, and you’ll be better equipped to halt the cycle and free yourself from drug or alcohol dependence.
Stage 1: Abusing the Substance
Addiction can’t happen until you start abusing the substance. In the case of alcohol, that might mean binge drinking. For prescription drugs, it might mean taking larger doses than necessary.
At first, these actions might seem relatively harmless. Over time, however, they can begin the cycle of addiction.
Stage 2: Losing Control Over Use
Chronic or improper use of certain substances can cause serious problems. Some people might experience a change in tolerance, which then translates to greater consumption. More importantly, some people will begin focusing on their substance abuse. This is especially true for anyone with addictive behaviors.
Once substance abuse becomes the priority, then the problem can worsen quickly. Work, friends, and family will become increasingly less important as the substance abuse increases in appeal.
Stage 3: Addiction
The third stage is the official development of an addiction. If a person develops an addiction, then they won’t have the power to cut back or quit without dangerous consequences. However, quitting in a detox setting under licensed medical care and supervision is often the only way to recover once you have reached this stage.
Many people struggling with addiction have placed their substance abuse on a pedestal. 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.
Stage 4: Choosing Recovery
The best way to break free from the cycle of addiction is by choosing high-quality treatment. However, not all recovery options are the same. Some short-lived programs get you sober, but they won’t help you maintain that sobriety for a lifetime.
If you’re serious about ending the cycle once and for all, then be sure to choose a comprehensive strategy for recovery. In almost every case, that includes some kind of rehab. Through individual and group therapies, as well as dual diagnosis support when necessary, it’s possible to commit to ongoing recovery that lasts a lifetime.
Stage 5: Relapse Back Into the Cycle of Addiction
Unfortunately, many patients won’t get the right level of care during addiction recovery. More than half of all those individuals who receive some form of professional addiction treatment will eventually relapse. This can perpetuate the cycle, leading to substance abuse and a renewed addiction.
The good news is that relapse doesn’t mean the end of recovery. While it’s a setback, those who relapse can still find the lifelong sobriety they deserve. The right rehab may make it easier to break free from your addictive behaviors once and for all.
No one deserves to be stuck in the addiction cycle. At Ashley Addiction Treatment in Havre de Grace, Maryland, you can find the right substance abuse programs for your recovery goals. Call (800) 799-HOPE (4673) to begin your journey to recovery today.