Addiction: Stages, signs, seeking treatment

Every effort should be made to help people get the type of help that will work best for them. Michael J. Rounds is the author of 10,000 Days Sober and an addiction recovery specialist at a correctional facility get out of addiction cycle in Indiana. This is important because it can influence your behaviors and reactions. For example, guilt often motivates you to apologize, correct a mistake or make amends with someone you have wronged.

Non-addictive drugs can also produce dependence in some patients, but they’re not the subject of this post. Tolerance means the current dose of a drug (or the amount of alcohol) is not enough for a person to achieve the pleasurable effects. Then, they try to increase it, but this only leads to tolerance to that new dose, and the cycle continues. Acute or short-term tolerance occurs due to repeated exposure to a drug over a relatively short period of time. A study from the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors found that among adolescents, the most prominent reason behind initial drug/alcohol use was positive/negative reinforcement.

Alcohol Use Disorder: After You Quit Drinking

If you or someone you know shows these signs of addiction or has tried and failed to quit using drugs or alcohol, there is still hope. In this final stage of addiction, the individual attempts to stop using the substance but experience intense withdrawals. These withdrawals may be so extreme you’re willing to do anything to obtain the substance. If an individual requires higher doses of the substance or begins experiencing withdrawal if they aren’t using the drug, they are likely in the third stage of the addiction cycle.

get out of addiction cycle

Ask your healthcare professional what option is ideal for the stage of addiction you’re currently in. Substance abuse treatment can begin no matter what stage of addiction you’re currently experiencing. However, the sooner treatment begins, the less intensive the treatment will need to be, and the less harm will be done to your health and relationships.

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction we can help.

Most of the time, relying on personal strength and self-discipline is insufficient to overcome addiction. A structured rehabilitation program can be a valuable ally in this process. Such programs can help individuals regain control and establish a healthier, more balanced life. The brain’s dopamine balance is altered when a person uses drugs or alcohol. Drugs over-stimulate dopamine receptors causing a release (euphoria) or a lull (sedation).

get out of addiction cycle

Employing these strategies can help you enjoy some version of that behavior without letting it take over. A dopamine hit brings about pleasure and is then quickly followed by pain, or a come-down, in order to keep us motivated, says psychiatrist Dr. Anna Lembke. The brain is connected by millions of nerve cells (neurons) that control feelings, movement, and bodily sensations. Nerve cell action is regulated by neurotransmitters, chemical messengers that carry and balance signals throughout the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates the brain’s reward and impulse control system.


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