The addiction cycle is a cycle that repeats itself of the behaviors and actions that drug and alcohol users face. According to NHS, in 2015/2016, around 2.7 million Britons from ages 16-59 have used drugs in the past year. It is important to break the cycle of addiction before the mental and psychological effects take over your life.
It can take addicts months, years, or even decades before you reach the point where you want to stop and recover from your addiction. You might understand how the cycle works but it will stop not be enough to stop it without help. The cycle starts with feeling frustrated and internal pain which leads to anxiety and looking for an answer to make this pain go away. You start thinking about how using will relieve you of your comfortable symptoms. You then start obsessing about using and how much better life with be after.
After being under the influence of drugs and alcohol for a while, you start to lose control over your behaviors. You feel remorseful, guilty, and shameful of your behaviors and feel dissatisfied with yourself. After experiencing negative consequences, the cycle ends when you make a promise to stop the behavior. The truth is that without detox and addiction treatment, those harmful behaviors will return to drugs and alcohol.
Breaking the cycle of addiction involves having strong motivations and perseverance to want recovery badly enough to do whatever it takes to stay sober. If you do not break the cycle of addiction, you may become increasingly isolated, have broken relationships, financial trouble, and job loss. Depending on the drug, you can become violent, paranoid, and experience severe physical health problems such as heart, respiratory failure, or even death. You know you have broken the cycle when you have mentally and physically prepared for the change. You have also taken action such as seeking treatment, going to 12 Step meetings, counselling, and self-help.
To prevent the cycle from restarting, think more about your successes in recovery than failure. You should also speak to your addiction counselor about the triggers and issues that are causing this addiction cycle. It is also important to remove the people and places in your life that have contributed to your addiction problems so that you will not be tempted. By maintaining this new lifestyle and behavior as well as following your recovery program, this cycle has broken.
Castle Craig is one of the most established and respected addiction rehab centers in the UK. Castle Craig treats alcoholism and drug addiction as an illness and promote abstinence as essential for long-lasting recovery. We help patients recover through an intensive, personalised programme that combines medical treatment, 12 Step therapy, CBT and other psychiatric therapies and complementary therapies. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked | January 29, 2020