Cycle of Addiction [Infographic]

The Cycle of Addiction: First Use to Dependency

The cycle of addiction can vary from person to person. In fact, once addiction hits, it can be difficult to remember where it all started. Counseling and treatment can help you recognize the root causes of your problem. However, it’s also important to understand this cycle so you can prevent it in your life. Addiction education can help you overcome the challenges of substance abuse before it’s too late.

The Cycle of Addiction Begins With First Use and Exposure

Drug and alcohol abuse always stems from something. For example, this can be trauma, peer pressure, your environment, and many other factors.

Specifically, your first exposure and use is the foundation of your addiction. This can occur at a social event with friends and in many other circumstances. The cycle of addiction will start in different places for everyone.

First use is when you determine if you enjoy the effects of the drugs or alcohol and decide if you would like to continue using. Some people may turn away immediately, while others will seek more opportunities to use.

First Use Leads to Abuse

After your first use, you may begin to regularly use the substance. Therefore, you begin to take in more as your body becomes accustomed to the drug. After a while, you are using much more than before and more frequently. This is the abuse stage during the cycle of addiction.

Physical and Psychological Dependence

Once substance abuse becomes a daily part of your life, your body will begin to adjust rapidly. Moreover, you will develop a physical and psychological dependence. At this stage, your body will struggle to function without the drug. When you don’t use regularly, you will begin to experience physical withdrawal symptoms. This is your body’s way of telling you that you need the drug to function properly, which regularly leads to further use.

However, psychological dependence can show before physical symptoms are even present. The drug’s influence on your brain’s capacity to control pleasurable feelings takes hold quickly. During this part of the cycle of addiction, you become emotionally tied to the drug due to a mental desire for it. Without the drug, you may because to experience sleeping problems, anxiety, depression, and changes in appetite.

Full-Blown Addiction

Once you reach full-blown addiction, each and every day completely revolves around the use of the drug. Therefore, you may begin to experience personal, professional, and financial hardships. You may struggle to hold a steady job, distance yourself from family and friends, and struggle to remain financially stable due to the cycle of addiction.

However, you don’t have to go down this road. By recognizing that you are developing a problem early, you can receive the professional help you deserve. At Silver Pines in Hazleton, PA, we offer a wide range of addiction treatment programs. Each modality will be custom to fit your specific needs in treatment. After an original assessment, we’ll create a rehab plan that gives you the best chance at a successful recovery.

For example, we offer therapies such as:

With a complete treatment program and recovery timeline, you can overcome the cycle of addiction in your life. For more information, contact Silver Pines today at 866-345-2147.