|The Cycle of Addiction
Drug Addiction Follows A Cycle Like This:
The life cycle of
addiction begins with a problem, discomfort or some form of emotional or
physical pain a person is experiencing. They find this very difficult to deal
We start off with an individual who, like most people
in our society, is basically good. This person encounters a problem or
discomfort that they do not know how to resolve or cannot confront. This could
include problems such as difficulty fitting in as a child or
teenager, anxiety due to peer pressure or work expectations, identity problems
or divorce as an adult. It can also include physical discomfort, such as
|an injury or chronic pain. The person experiencing the
discomfort has a real problem. He feels his present situation is unendurable,
yet sees no good solution to the problem.
experienced this in life to a greater or lesser degree. The difference between
an addict and the non-addict is that the addict chooses drugs or alcohol as a
solution to the unwanted problem or discomfort.
Drugs And Problems
This person tries
drugs or alcohol. The drugs APPEAR to solve his problem. He feels better.
Because he now SEEMS better able to deal with life, the drugs become valuable
to him. The person looks on drugs or alcohol as a cure for unwanted feelings.
The painkilling effects of drugs or alcohol become a solution to their
discomfort. Inadvertently the drug or alcohol now becomes valuable because it
helped them feel better. This release is the main reason a person uses drugs or
drinks a second or third time. It is just a matter of time before he becomes
fully addicted and loses the ability to control his drug use. Drug addiction,
then, results from excessive or continued use of physiologically habit-forming
drugs in an attempt to resolve the underlying symptoms of discomfort or
| The Addiction Progresses
Analogous to an
adolescent child in his first love affair, the use of drugs or alcohol becomes
obsessive. The addicted person is trapped. Whatever problem he was initially
trying to solve by using drugs or alcohol fades from memory. At this point, all
he can think about is getting and using drugs. He loses the ability to control
his usage and disregards the horrible consequences of his actions.
|| How Drugs Affect Behavior
The addict will
now attempt to withhold the fact of his drug use from friends and family
members. He will begin to suffer the effects of his own dishonesty and guilt.
He may become withdrawn and difficult to reason with. He may behave strangely.
The more he uses drugs and alcohol, the guiltier he will feel,
and the more depressed he will become. He will sacrifice his personal
friends and family, his job, his savings, and anything else he may have in an
attempt to get more drugs. The drugs are now the most important things in his
life. His relationships and job performance will go drastically downhill.
Alcohol And Drug
In addition to the
mental stress created by his unethical behavior, the addicts body has
also adapted to the presence of the drugs. He will experience an overwhelming
obsession with getting and using his drugs, and will do anything to avoid the
pain of withdrawing from them. This is when the newly-created addict begins to
experience drug cravings.
|He now seeks drugs both for the reward of the
pleasure they give him, and also to avoid the mental and physical
horrors of withdrawal. Ironically, the addicts ability to get
high from the alcohol or drug gradually decreases as his body
adapts to the presence of foreign chemicals. He must take more and more, not
just to get an effect but often just to function at all.
At this point, the
addict is stuck in a vicious dwindling spiral. The drugs he abuses have changed
him both physically and mentally. He has crossed an invisible and intangible
line. He is now a drug addict or alcoholic.
Drugs And Personality
There is such a
thing as a drug personality. It is artificial and is created by
drugs. Drugs can change the attitude of a person from his original personality
to one secretly harboring hostilities and hatreds he does not permit to show on
This establishes a
link between drugs and increasing difficulties with crime, production and the
modern breakdown of social and industrial culture.
| The drug personality includes
such characteristics as:
>> Mood swings unreliable.
>> Unable to finish projects.
>> Unexpressed resentment and secret hatreds.
>> Dishonesty. Lies to
family, friends, employers.
>> Withdraws from those who love him. Isolates
>> May appear chronically
>> May begin stealing from family and friends.