Addictions to drug and alcohol can become a vicious and seemingly never ending and downward spiral or cycle of addiction. The reason for this is that addiction is not merely a physical process, but a mental one as well. The mental aspect of addiction is what truly keeps people in the cycle of using and abusing drugs and alcohol, even when the individual recognizes the damage that they are doing to their life and to the lives of those people who surround them.
Any person who has abused drugs and alcohol can tell you that after using a substance for a while that they become tolerant to the drug and have to use more in order to achieve the same effect. This tolerance applies to all addictions, whether it is an addiction to prescription painkillers, alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, or any other drug.
Addicts find that they must use more and more of the substance to feel better, and that without the drug or alcohol, they just don’t feel like themselves and can’t find any satisfaction without the substance in their system. Unfortunately, by the time they realize this the physical and mental addiction to the substance are firmly in place. The individual feels as if they cannot live without the drug or alcohol, because the substance has changed them from the person they used to be, so they fuel their addiction by consuming more and more to achieve the same effect that the drug initially had on them, and the need for the addictive substance grows and grows. This is the cycle of addiction.
Drug rehabilitation treatment facilities are successful in helping to end the cycle of addiction because they take into consideration recovery on both a physical and mental level. Physically, a person may experience withdrawal symptoms, that can last days, or weeks. The mental recovery is one that can take months to years of therapy, counseling, and aftercare programs to achieve success.