Understanding the Cycle of Addiction Stages of Addiction

For people with addictions, this means upholding the intentions made during the preparation stage and the behaviors introduced in the action stage. The action stage is the focus for many people attempting to overcome addiction. This cycle of addiction is the stage at which real change—change of behavior—starts happening. When people are in the precontemplation stage, they are often not very interested in hearing about negative consequences or advice to quit their addiction.

However, even though each phase may differ in its duration, they generally progress in a repetitive pattern until some form of treatment takes place to intervene and alleviate the addiction. If a child is living in an environment with addiction, he or she can take an active role in breaking the cycle. The child can confide in positive role models such as a teacher or coach who can encourage them and give them advice.

Medical Director

Often, the use of the substance “ramps up” – becoming more frequent, or more intense -using the substances in higher doses, in an attempt to mask unfavorable feelings and symptoms. Individuals who have a recurring problem with alcohol https://ecosoberhouse.com/ or drug abuse are trapped in a cycle of addiction. It typically takes a lot of time for it to occur as the brain and behaviors change. Repeated substance abuse that happens over a period of time leads to these changes.

  • Moreover, it will also discuss ways to get professional help to break the dangerous addiction cycle.
  • As a licensed clinician, Cheryl stands ready to diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of mental, behavioral, and personality disorders that sometimes present alongside a substance use disorder.
  • The preparation stage of the stages of change model means a person has moved forward to planning and preparing for carrying out changes they learned about in the contemplation stage.
  • Similarly, when rehab doesn’t work, you can’t immediately jump to the conclusion that rehab is the issue.

This practically ensures that the person does not only sink deeper into substance abuse, but they are also digging deeper into addiction by creating dependence on the substance. The established stages of the addiction cycle are made up of a series of behavioral changes in a person. They start from when the substance is first tried out to the point where recovery appears to have been achieved, only to find out that the urge is simply too great. This is the only stage where the addicted is actually in control but from this time onward things their dependence on alcohol starts building and they are set on their way to addiction. Initial Use or Exposure usually begins as something fun; probably on Friday night with friends or something you chose because its a prescription medicine to manage pain. He earned a Bachelor’s degree at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania while pursuing his CAC-AD.

Traits Correlated With Addiction

The body and brain begin to depend on the substance in order to function, and the individual will experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using. Finally, they struggle with addiction, where even if they want to stop using drugs or drinking, they experience compulsions that cause them to continue to use. The neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine send messages to the brain and the rest of the body. The altered brain chemistry essentially requires constant, repetitive exposure to the substance or action to function psychologically and physiologically. This chemical dependence leads to tolerance and withdrawal symptoms, two of the hallmarks of substance abuse addiction that most often require a professionally monitored alcohol and drug detox.