In order to fully understand addiction, you must understand the life cycle of addiction and what takes place from step to step. The life cycle of addiction can be different from person to person, but the steps are essentially the same. What leads each person to become addicted can differ, but how a person experiences and responds to addiction is going to follow the same basic path no matter who they are.
- The first thing that typically leads a person to substance abuse is a need. It might be a need to self-medicate because you are stressed or anxious or depressed, or it might be a need to appease your friends who are pressuring you into trying something new. It might simply be a need to be a little crazy in the event of club drugs or similar euphoria producing drugs. Something drives the person to use the drug for the first time, and this is where it begins.
- For some people, it only takes one usage of the drug to change something in the brain. Your pleasure center is activated and your body immediately recognizes that you feel different, somehow better. This is the precursor to addiction, when your body begins to acknowledge the benefit of getting more of the drug.
- As soon as the high has worn off, your body is going to feel the drug lacking from your system. For some drugs and some people, the effect is going to be almost instantaneous. You are going to begin wanting to take the drug again, and your body and mind are going to become obsessed with it. For some people, it may take several uses of the drug to develop a real physical dependence, but for others, it takes a single use before the addictive properties begin to truly impact you.
- What happens next ultimately depends on you. If you continue taking the drug, then you are abusing a substance, and you are going to continue feeding the addiction center in your brain. Your brain is going to appreciate having its pleasure centers ignited and so the result is going to be wanting more and more of the drug. The addiction will form over time, and you will be required to take more and more of the drug in order to achieve the same results that you got the first time that you took the drug.
- Perhaps you stop taking the drug. You think you can quit, or you run out of money, or you simply do not have any of the drugs on hand. This is when withdrawal kicks in. Your body is not happy to be without the drug that you have come to rely on. Withdrawal symptoms kick your butt, causing pain and discomfort. Some of the most common symptoms associated with withdrawal from drugs include depression, anxiety, insomnia, sleeping disturbances, appetite problems, shaking, flu symptoms and many others. The symptoms are going to continue to worsen until you either get more of the drug, or find a way to get through them.
- This is the point when you need to decide whether or not you are going to get help. If you continue to struggle with the addiction, then it is only going to become worse for you. If you decide to get help, on the other hand, then you are going to have to be willing to admit that you have a problem and ask a local rehab facility to give you the help that you need. Getting help is absolutely essential, and since it is nearly impossible to quit a drug cold turkey, getting help may be the only way for you to overcome your addiction.
Addiction is serious business. It only takes a small spark in order to become a serious problem, and once you begin abusing a substance, you are going to have great difficulty getting through it. If you are struggling with a drug addiction or a substance abuse problem of any kind, then the best thing that you can do is to reach out for help from a local rehab facility in your area. The right drug or alcoholism abuse rehab facility is going to give you the chance to overcome your addiction and move on with your life once and for all.
Now is the time for you to reach out to get the help that you need. Stop fighting with your addiction and start getting help once and for all.