The Cycle of Addiction & Relapse and How To Stop It

People who develop addictions may feel unable to stop using the substance or participating in an activity even if they want to because of the physiological changes addiction causes. We can easily consider the six stages of addiction as a wheel that keeps turning and turning on the road. Many studies have found that relapse rates within the first twelve weeks after the completion of intensive inpatient programs are about 50%. The relapse episodes may last from four to twelve weeks and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. For that reason, it’s crucial to make the right choice, get professional help, and join a facility with a team of experts who know how to help you prevent or overcome your relapse. Dependence doesn’t necessarily occur due to illicit and addictive drugs all the time.

However, every step they take brings them closer to their ultimate goal – breaking free from the hold of addiction. Breaking free from addiction can be daunting, but with commitment in recovery, it is achievable. By addressing each cycle component one step at a time, your loved one can find the way out and succeed in recovery. These consequences extend beyond physical and emotional health impacts. It can affect various aspects of life, including relationships, careers, and self-esteem. When we’re repeatedly exposed to our pleasure-producing stimuli, our brains adjust and, eventually, we need more and more just to feel “normal,” or not in pain.

Addiction & Consequences

Sensory reminders of addiction can easily trigger relapse during recovery, such as seeing, smelling, or touching drugs or alcohol. You must learn about how to effectively deal with these reminders, as they will often arise when you least expect them. Drugs interfere with the way neurons send, receive, and process signals via “neurotransmitters.” Some drugs, like cannabis and heroin, will attach to and activate the neurons. Although these drugs mimic the brain’s own chemicals, they lead to abnormal messages being sent through the network.

This guide explains the addiction cycle and the stages of breaking the cycle. Support groups, like Narcotics Anonymous, help people with drug addiction issues. The support group message is generally that addiction is an ongoing disorder with a high risk of relapse. The treatment recommended for drug use and any coexisting medical or mental health conditions can vary. It occurs when a person stops taking drugs and begins to experience withdrawal symptoms.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

The pharmacological mechanisms for each class of drug are different, but the activation of the reward system is similar across all substances. It is possible to become addicted to drugs such as heroin, methamphetamines, and other opiates after first-time use. Not all individuals who use prescription get out of addiction cycle medications, drink alcohol, or partake in drug use for the first time intend on becoming addicted. Addiction rarely occurs immediately after the initial use of a substance. During my time in active addiction, I had to learn to deal with the feeling of guilt and shame for what my life had become.

  • But sometimes uncomfortable symptoms stick around for months or years.
  • Pre-existing mental health conditions can sometimes lead people to turn to alcohol to cope with their symptoms.
  • Neither the pharmacy nor the clinical operations were credentialed by an outside agency.
  • We are a recovery center that understands addiction and are waiting for you.
  • Because it is a chronic disease, it requires ongoing treatment in order to help people remain in recovery.

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