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Instant Gratification and Addiction

Many of us that are no stranger to addiction are also quite familiar with the strong desire for instant gratification. That impulse to have what you want right now, not a moment later, is part of what makes drugs and alcohol so appealing. Feeling anxious or depressed? A sip or a snort and in a moment those negative feelings are gone. Never mind that the consequences may be severe for that decision. For someone dealing with addiction, the priority is satisfying the need immediately.

After careful analysis, instant gratification can be divided into five unique stages. These stages will likely feel very familiar, as they go hand in hand with addictive behaviors.

Desire/Urge – This is the moment you feel a strong pull towards an action related to your addiction.

Resolve to Resist the Urge – Instantly you consider the option of resisting the impulse, and you remind yourself of why you shouldn’t do the action in question.

Rush of Adrenaline – At this moment, you may feel an overwhelming sensation through your entire body to the point of illness. The demand and craving hit you in enormous waves. The need for your addiction is intense.

Give in to the Urge – You can’t take it anymore, and you give in to the desire. You are instantly filled with feelings of calm, satiation, and relief. It may only last a moment, but the experience can be euphoric.

Feelings of Guilt and Remorse – As the euphoria fades, you are left in emotional distress. Negative feelings of guilt and remorse haunt you as you criticize and ridicule yourself for your actions. Depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, and disgust add to the mix lowering your self-esteem and destroying confidence.

These stages of instant gratification are often cyclical, also. An endless cycle of torment stopped only by a decision to get the help you need.

If you or a loved one is new to recovery and unsure how to handle the transition back into life after treatment, please call Villa Tranquil at 866-697-7573 to speak with an addiction consultant about the services offered at Villa Tranquil. Women ages 18-65 are invited to join Villa Tranquil’s educated staff and like-minded patients as they work together toward a common goal of sobriety. Your life is what you make it each day. Don’t waste another day, call Villa Tranquil now to begin your recovery journey is a positive, serene environment. Make Villa Tranquil your recovery home away from home.