Diagnosed as a brain condition, addiction is a compulsive, unhealthy fixation on a certain stimulus. Addictive stimuli can range from drugs to gambling and even to online shopping.

Initially, such stimuli will fill a gap, will support individuals emotionally, or will provide longed-for feelings.

Through ongoing exposure of such beneficial traits, those longed-for experiences will be encountered, will be craved and will soon become ingrained. This is the start of the cycle of addiction.

Understanding the addiction cycle is very important, as there are many misconceptions surrounding such behaviours. It’s also wise to gauge the intensity and rapid rate of the cycle if you’re personally abusing or misusing such exposure, to understand the risk of addiction.

Once the cycle of addiction does start, it thrives off control. It can be difficult to break independently, without the completion of addiction treatment, withdrawal steps and relapse prevention planning.

It requires the input of rehab services and professionals to understand, deter and diminish the cycle, providing control for clients.

Explaining the cycle of addiction is therefore very important, which we’re here to do today here at Nova Recovery. We’re also here to share proactive steps to breaking the addiction cycle, which we can also assist with.

From drug addiction to alcoholism and to chronic gambling, the cycle of addiction is a real, damaging process. Here’s all you need to know about the constant materialisation of addiction.


What is addiction?

As we’ve briefly shared above, addiction is a behavioural condition that resides and materialises in the brain. 99,782 hospital admissions, over the years 2019/2020 were in fact noted for addictive behavioural problems, indicating the ongoing prevalence of addiction.

While behaviours of addiction are usually connected to physical actions, as this is how they are displayed, an addiction is fuelled in the mind.

Being addicted to a certain stimulus will result in the priority of exposure, will churn the cycle of addiction on a consistent basis, and will reflect a deeply developed and accommodated fixation. Such choices will be involuntary, subconsciously developing in the brain, down to the build-up of exposure.

For example, drugs may be used by an individual, on an initial basis, to feel emotional support and escapism. As drugs are known to do just that, the attractive traits of drugs will be longed for on a consistent basis, chasing such feelings through ongoing exposure.

At this point, the body and brain will accommodate and crave such exposure, which soon turns into a taught and accepted behaviour, suppressing personal control.

Reaching this point, drug addiction will, unfortunately, be materialising under the surface, where withdrawal symptoms will be encountered, where side effects will be experienced, where autonomy will dwindle, where consequences will present themselves, and where breaking the cycle of addiction will seem impossible.

Down to such rapid materialisation, explaining the cycle of addiction is important to us at Nova Recovery, to highlight each phase of such an involuntary, compulsive condition.


Explaining the cycle of addiction

Broken up into five different phases, the cycle of addiction, once developed, is an ongoing process. It moves addicts throughout each phase, posing little control over actions, emotions and behaviours.

This is how controlling an addiction can become, where such individuals will not be able to bypass or deter such phases, without professional support.

The addiction cycle starts off through development, which is where the addictive connection between exposure and emotions will be made.

Most addictions do develop through negative emotional needs, such as distress, the experience of trauma and mental health issues. Here’s where users will understand that exposure to an addictive stimulus will fulfil their needs, yet without the understanding of addiction development.

Moving to the second phase of the cycle, as exposure has been experienced, where positives have instead replaced such emotions, physical and psychological cravings will amount.

Cravings of drugs and alcohol, for example, will be encountered without control. Further coping strategies, at this point will be bypassed, down to the benefits that such stimuli provide.

Cravings can be engulfing, which if focused on, will advance towards the next phase of the cycle of addiction, translated into behaviours. Behaviours are the actions, routines and choices which follow from exposure.

Here’s where the physical signs of addiction will present themselves, through active, compulsive behaviours, soon controlling all aspects of life.

Explaining the cycle of addiction is essential, as exposure can quickly control psychological outlooks and physical actions, taking priority. At this point, cravings and behaviours will drive the need to consume/be exposed to drugs and alcohol, in order to suppress withdrawal symptoms and negative thoughts.

At the end of the cycle, users will be aware of their actions, will feel remorseful, and may lean towards drug and alcohol withdrawal. However, down to its rapid pace, the cycle can quickly restart, turning such remorse into a negative response, again craving escapism.

The cycle of addiction is therefore hard to break, is rapid, and is unswerving if empowered. Breaking the cycle will require great force and energy, through drug and alcohol rehabilitation. If you’re encountering phases of the cycle, it’s time to consider the force of change, of rewind and of professional support.


Breaking the cycle of addiction

As individuals can move through the cycle very quickly, especially once the basis of addiction has developed, it can be tough to commit to lone withdrawal.

Initially, short-term effects of addiction will be experienced, where an easier removal will be expected. Yet, as long-term effects of addiction develop, through ongoing exposure, removal will not be expected through lone efforts.

It’s also essential to highlight how challenging psychological addiction recovery will be through independent attempts. Alone, drugs and alcohol, or further stimuli are addictive, paired with the engulfing cycle of addiction, can therefore be hard to detach from.

Breaking the cycle of addiction will therefore require professional intervention, through addiction treatment. Detoxification will be aimed for, to encounter withdrawal.

Psychological restoration will be a goal, to adapt the reliance on support from such addictive substances. Relapse prevention will drive long-term recovery, break the routine, promote healthy coping strategies, and highlight the need for management.

The aim will be to reduce exposure, which when paired with addiction treatment, will suppress cravings. Without cravings, behaviours can then adapt, which will translate through actions and decisions, helping to elevate positivity. The cycle of addiction is vicious. To break it, we must work backwards, to revert such impacts.

By reaching a point where drugs, alcohol and their value are suppressed from a psychological standpoint, physical actions will also dwindle, supporting addiction recovery.


Addiction support here at Nova Recovery

It’s clear to see why explaining the cycle of addiction is important, as it’s complicated, as it’s out of the user’s control and as it’s a constant battle. If you’re looking to break it, we’re here for you at Nova Recovery, offering drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes.

Recognised as a private hospital, specialising in mental health recovery and behavioural conditions, we’re equipped to treat and alleviate the signs of addiction.

While it will take great effort, energy and time to truly break the cycle of addiction, it will be worthwhile, to regain control, clarity and conscious decisions. Reach out to begin the drug and alcohol withdrawal process.




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