What Is the Cycle of Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system, pleasure sensors, motivation, and memory. While many people can enjoy a casual drink or occasionally use substances, others fall into a cycle of addiction, treatment, and relapse.
Why are some people susceptible to this cycle while others are not? Scientists work diligently to understand how a person’s occasional habit may develop into an addiction.
The experienced addiction specialists at BrightView are knowledgeable about the cycle of addiction and have developed addiction treatment programs to meet individuals' needs at every stage. Learn more about how outpatient addiction treatment can help you or a loved one gain control of the disease and begin the journey to lifelong sobriety by calling 1-833-510-HELP.
What Is the Cycle of Addiction?
While there are many reasons why a person may turn to drugs or alcohol at first, one thing is clear: this could be the first step toward addiction. It may begin with a prescription for an injury to manage pain or a mental illness. This is not to say that every drink or use will manifest into addiction. Still, several risk factors make the propensity for developing an addiction that much higher, including:
- Family history of mental health issues
- Childhood neglect or abuse
- Previously diagnosed mental health issues
- Family history of substance abuse
Once use begins, the next stage is abuse, which is defined as using a substance in a harmful way. For example, the person taking prescribed medication for pain may continue to take it after the presence of pain is gone or in higher quantities to achieve the same level of “high.” In terms of alcohol, an individual may engage in binge drinking or drinking more frequently, especially when not appropriate.
Tolerance occurs when the brain’s normal function has been eroded in response to substance abuse, requiring higher doses or frequency to achieve the same result. With more use and subsequent tolerance, the body will continue to increase its need and cravings for the drug or alcohol. At this point, the brain becomes dependent on the substance to function properly.
Lastly, addiction occurs when an individual is no longer capable of stopping use and abuse without intervention and treatment assistance. The following signs and symptoms are common once addiction has taken hold, including:
- Spending a great deal of time seeking and using a substance
- Withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyed
- Relationship challenges due to being consumed by thoughts and cravings for the substance
- Using the substance despite its negative effects and in potentially dangerous situations
- Inability to manage daily responsibilities
Unfortunately, as with any chronic condition, relapse is possible, especially without the proper guidance and support to manage the condition.
Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Although addiction cannot be cured, it is treatable with the proper treatment and support. When it comes to the addiction cycle, it can be interrupted through evidence-based approaches to treatment, including:
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Counseling and therapy for addiction recovery
- Individual and group virtual therapy
When treatment focuses on patients’ physical, emotional, and psychological needs and mental health, patients experience higher success rates of recovery and fewer relapses.
At BrightView, our addiction specialists understand the cycle of addiction and develop programs best suited to patients' needs at every stage of the cycle. Through the outpatient addiction treatment center, we do our best to make the recovery process accessible and available to everyone who suffers from addiction while still encouraging them to manage their families, relationships, and careers.
Break The Cycle With Addiction Treatment In Ohio
Not all addiction treatment centers are alike. While some offer a broad range of inpatient and outpatient options, we believe that addiction can successfully be managed through an outpatient program, giving patients the freedom to sleep in their own beds at night and taking care of their responsibilities while learning to break the cycle of addiction.
At BrightView in Ohio, we are proud of our services to help patients reach their longtime sobriety goals, including ease of access, a welcoming and supportive environment, and immediacy of care. Our patients are treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve to overcome their struggles with addiction and return to the lives that they want to live. To learn how you or a loved one can break the cycle of addiction, contact an addiction specialist at 1-833-510-HELP or by completing our secure online form.