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How to Break the Cycle of Addiction, What Is the Cycle of Addiction?

How to Break the Cycle of Addiction

By on Apr 25, 2024 in Addiction, Blog

People develop addiction for various reasons. In some situations, it may feel like the best strategy for overcoming chronic stress or dealing with emotional trauma. In others, it might result from consistent heavy use due to boredom, peer pressure, or depression. Understanding why addiction occurs can help you break the cycle, freeing yourself from the demands of substances like painkillers, alcohol, or stimulants.

What Is the Cycle of Addiction?

One of the ways to define the cycle of addiction is to consider what happens in your brain when you use these substances. Often, a person begins to use a substance because they’re curious and/or because their friends are using it. Then:

  • The brain’s reward centers are triggered by the powerful “high” the substance creates, which is the result of excess dopamine production.
  • Since the brain is wired to seek out pleasurable experiences, it registers this substance as a good thing.
  • Additional use reinforces the link in the brain between the substance and pleasure. 
  • Over time, the brain begins to demand access to the substance so that it can feel pleasure from it.
  • The brain becomes too used to the amount of substance and needs more to have the same reaction. This is called tolerance.
  • More of the substance means additional cravings, but it also introduces the risk of overdose.
  • When a person stops using the substance, they feel intense pain and discomfort because the brain has become dependent on the substance to function. Only using more of the substance will provide relief. 

This continues to occur, a cycle of craving the drug, seeking out the drug, getting the relief, then experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when the high wears off. The powerful feelings of withdrawal can make it almost impossible to just stop using the substance, even if you want to do so. 

How to Stop This Cycle from Continuing

For those who have an alcohol or drug addiction, this cycle will continue on and on until something causes it to stop, whether that’s death from a substance-induced illness or an overdose. Overdose is a very real risk for those who use substances consistently. Consider that 106,699 people died from an overdose in 2021 alone, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of those people could not break the cycle of addiction.

You can break the cycle of addiction. We can help you. When you enter our drug and alcohol rehab center in Lafayette, Louisiana, we create a treatment plan to address your very specific needs. What does it take to overcome addiction?

  • Professional detox in a safe environment

The first strategy to help you recover from addiction is to enter into a professional detox program that allows you to safely work through the withdrawal process. Detoxing in a medical treatment center means you will get help for the withdrawal symptoms you have. It also means that your mental health needs can be met with medication and therapy during this process.

Detox won’t remove all cravings for the substance, but it will put you in a much better position to manage the cravings so they don’t take over. It’s the beginning of a recovery journey that will last a lifetime.

  • Understanding your addiction

The next component is education. It is critical to learn how addiction occurs, why it happened to you, and what it means for your future. As a component of your drug and alcohol addiction treatment, you’ll get help for any co-occurring mental health disorders and, as needed, work through past trauma. You are always supported in our program and given the tools you need to thrive.

  • Developing skills to manage life

During addiction treatment, you’ll learn skills to manage stress, build confidence, and take care of your day-to-day needs. The ultimate goal in each situation is to empower you to heal. That means addressing the specific needs you have, creating a clear path forward, and building a strong team of support people to help you break through this cycle. With strong addiction aftercare services, you can count on having support on an ongoing basis.

Break the Cycle: Contact Our Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Louisiana Now

When you contact Victory Addiction Recovery Center, we create a plan to help you break the cycle of addiction for good. With a customized plan to address your specific needs, you can expect ongoing support to build and sustain a healthy life. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

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