Addiction: The Endless Cycle of Recovery and Relapse

The incidence of addiction continues to increase despite years of efforts to educate the public about the harmful effects of illicit drug and alcohol abuse. U.S. Government statistics indicate that during 2016, 2.5 million Americans age 12 and over had abused illicit drugs or medications such as tranquilizers and pain relievers in the past month.  Far too many of these individuals get caught up in what seems to be an endless cycle of addiction, recovery, and relapse.

How an Endless Cycle of Addiction Begins

Addiction affects the part of the brain that is associated with pleasure. When an individual uses an addictive substance illicitly, they want to experience euphoria. Others may find that legitimately prescribed medication such as pain pills help them feel better, and quite often these medications lead to addiction. Some people have a strong desire to experience these feelings again. For most people, repeated use leaves them needing more of the drug to get the same high. Eventually, the quest for euphoria takes stronger doses of the drug of choice leading to addiction that spirals out of control.

Addiction Affects More Than the Abuser

Living with addiction to alcohol or drugs is very difficult for the person who habitually uses substances like drugs or alcohol, but friends and loved ones associated with the addicted person also are affected negatively. Years of substance abuse can take a toll on an entire family’s health and well-being. For the addict who has tried everything except inpatient treatment, it may be time to give that option a try.

Consequences of the Endless Cycle of Addiction

Some addicts decide to stop using and may be successful for a few weeks, months or even years. However, when stressful times hit, an addict often returns to his or her old habits. Usually, the person is dealing with issues that lead him or her to believe that the only recourse is to start using again. Ironically, the thing that the addict uses in an attempt to find comfort or feel better is the thing that lands him or her in trouble once again. For many addicts, this leads to:

  • Difficulty keeping commitments
  • Job loss
  • Failed marriages
  • Abuse of loved ones

It is also quite common for addicts to become involved in criminal activity such as stealing to get money for drugs and driving while impaired. This is one of the hardest parts of the endless cycle of addiction. Hopefully, the person will seek inpatient treatment before these type of devastating consequences occur.

Healing the Whole Person for Best Results

Addicts who want to get clean and have a chance at changing their lives for the better should consider an inpatient addiction treatment program. The complexity of addiction demands treatment modalities that address the whole person because in most cases, addiction occurs due to a combination of factors such as depression, family history of addiction, problems in relationships, and low self-esteem in addition to the physical aspect of the addiction.

Inpatient addiction treatment programs take an approach to treatment that involves individual counseling, group therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy that will help the addict stop using. The therapeutic environment of an inpatient program provides a safe place for substance users to share their feelings without fear of judgment. Caring, highly trained addiction specialists and support staff are available day or night to offer guidance and compassion when things are difficult. This level of care is crucial to helping an addicted person recover and stay clean for the long-term.

If you would like more information about the endless cycle of addiction, contact us at About Addiction today.  We can answer all your questions, or help you choose a treatment program for a friend or loved one.

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