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What Causes Addiction to Grow in the Brain?

The effects of addiction on the brain are complex. When stimulants, nicotine, opioids, alcohol, and sedatives are used, their chemical components enter the brain and bloodstream. Once a toxin gets inside the brain, it can make people impulsive or crave dangerous substances. When a person becomes addicted, their brain yearns for the drug's high. This results from the brain's reward system being stimulated very strongly. As a result, many users keep using the drug, which can result in a variety of euphoric experiences and odd behavioral tendencies. Long-term addiction can have grave consequences, including brain damage, and even fatal.

The Relation between Addiction and Brain

Drugs and alcohol affect how neurons use neurotransmitters to send, receive, and process signals. Because some drugs, like heroin and marijuana, have molecular structures that are similar to those of natural neurotransmitters in the body, they can activate neurons. This enables the medications to bind to and stimulate the neurons. Despite the fact that these drugs imitate the brain's natural chemicals, they don't activate neurons in the same manner that a natural neurotransmitter does, which results in the network sending incorrect messages.

The type and quantity of substances used, the frequency of usage, and the degree of addiction that has developed all affect how the brain reacts to addiction. For instance, someone who uses cocaine will experience euphoria. Because cocaine is psychoactive and affects the part of the brain that regulates motivation and pleasure, this happens. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter that makes many feel euphoric, is released in a brief but intense burst. This sensation may be so potent that a strong desire to keep using it may develop. There are many addiction treatments available at rehabs according to the nature of addiction type. Addiction assessment is recommended as soon as possible. 

How does Addiction in the Brain Develop

The brain controls coordination, respiration, emotion, and body temperature. This important organ of the body also affects desires, compulsions, habits, and bodily sensations. Abusers of drugs like benzodiazepines or heroin might change how their brain functions while under the influence of a potent and dangerous chemical.

Drugs impact a person's body and mind by interacting with the limbic system in the brain to release potent feel-good emotions. People keep using drugs to sustain the powerful feel-good feelings their brains emit, which perpetuates a cycle of drug use and powerful highs. In the end, they merely use the medicine to feel normal.

How do Alcohol and Drugs Produce Pleasure in the Brain

The feeling of pleasure or euphoria that comes from using drugs is still not fully understood, but it is thought to be caused by spikes in the body's natural opioids (endorphins) and other neurotransmitters in certain regions of the basal ganglia (the reward circuit). Some medicines have the ability to increase these neurotransmitter surges to considerably greater levels than the smaller bursts that occur naturally in response to positive experiences like eating, listening to or playing music, engaging in creative activities, or interacting with others.

Scientists used to believe that drug-induced spikes in the neurotransmitter dopamine were directly responsible for euphoria, but they now believe that dopamine plays a more indirect role in euphoria by encouraging us to repeat enjoyable behaviors.

Addiction Treatment

When an addict checks into an addiction treatment facility, they are given medication and have access to cutting-edge therapies. Therapies are frequently used to regulate and calm the brain following addiction. This enables a specialist to keep an eye on the brain. They can discover ways to enhance brain function, lessening the impact of addiction and undesirable urges.

Electroencephalograms are used in biofeedback (EEGs). EEGs are frequently used to assist people with severe brain injuries, but they can also be beneficial for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder and other brain illnesses. Biofeedback lowers stress and inhibits uncontrollable bodily functions. Additionally, guided imagery, muscle relaxation, and meditation can be used in this therapy.

The patient's involuntary functions, such as heartbeat, blood pressure, and muscle contraction, are improved by biofeedback when it is paired with therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). Biofeedback techniques include neurofeedback and EEQ therapy. This treatment is a brain-training method. This therapy tracks the activity of the brain in addiction cases. Patients who use it can alleviate compulsions and experience less tension and anxiety. Both procedures lead to the administrator rewarding the brain to regain its normal functioning.

The Bottom Line…

Addiction of any kind can have terrible and difficult long-term implications. Receiving expert treatment is the most effective method to recover from substance use disorders (SUDs). This enables people to receive special care, medical and psychological assistance, and a greater comprehension of their addiction.

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