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"THE ADDICTION CYCLE" . . . . from Staying Sober, by Terrence T. Gorski & Merlene Miller

1. Short-term gratification
2. Long-term pain
3. Addictive thinking
4. Increased tolerance
5. Loss of control
6. Bio-psycho-social damage

1. SHORT-TERM GRATIFICATION: First there is short-term gratification. You feel good NOW. There is a strong short-term gain that causes you to assume the drug or behavior is good for you.

2. LONG-TERM PAIN AND DYSFUNCTION: The short-term gratification is eventually followed by long-term pain. This pain, part of which is from physical withdrawal, and part of which is from the inability to cope psycho-socially without drugs/alcohol, is the direct consequence of using the addictive chemical/s.

3. ADDICTIVE THINKING: The long-term pain and dysfunction trigger addictive thinking. Addictive thinking begins with obsession and compulsion. Obsession is a continuous thinking about the positive effects of using alcohol and drugs. Compulsion is an irrational urge or craving to use the drug to get the positive effect even though you know it will hurt you in the long run. This leads to denial and rationalization in order to allow continued use. Denial is the inability to recognize there is a problem. Rationalization is blaming other situations and people for problems rather than drug use.

4. INCREASED TOLERANCE: Without your being aware that it is happening, more and more of the drug is required to produce the same effect.

5. LOSS OF CONTROL: The obsession and compulsion become so strong that you cannot think about anything else. Your feelings and emotions become distorted by the compulsion. You become stressed and uncomfortable until finally the urge to use is so strong that you cannot resist it. Once you use the addictive chemicals or the addictive behaviors again, the cycle starts all over.

6. BIO-PSYCHO-SOCIAL DAMAGE: Eventually there is damage to the health of your body (physical health), mind (psychological health), and relationships with other people (social health). As pain and stress get worse, the compulsion to use the addictive drugs or behaviors to get relief from the pain increases. A deadly trap develops. You need addictive use in order to feel good. When you use addictively you damage yourself physically, psychologically, and socially. This damage increases your pain which increases your need for addictive use.

( J.K.Publishing...1995 )

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