The Addiction Cycle shows how a person in recovery begins to relapse. The recovering addict, sponsor, or family member should be aware of each stage in the cycle to realize the persons actions determining their addictive behavior. "Drug addiction is a chronically relapsing disorder that is defined by two major characteristics: a compulsion to take the drug with a narrowing of the behavioral repertoire toward excessive drug intake, and a loss of control in limiting intake (American Psychiatric Association 1994; World Health Organization 1992)." (Koob and Moal, 1997, pg. 97) When a person begins the addiction cycle techniques have to be in place to counteract the specific stage of relapse. Koop and Moal share, "Spiraling distress describes how, in some cases, the first self-regulation failure can lead to emotional distress, which sets up a cycle of repeated failures to self-regulate, and where each violation brings additional negative affect (Baumeister et al. 1994)." (Koob and Moal, 1997, pg. 98) Understanding the Addiction Cycle model can help to lead a person back from relapse or prevent it.
Resources: Koob GF, Le Moal M (1997): Drug abuse: Hedonic homeo- static dysregulation. Science 278:52–58