What Happens to the Brain in Addiction?

You may wonder how addiction affects the brain. As a result of addiction, a person’s brain receptors become overloaded and unable to work properly. When too much dopamine is produced by the brain or the brain’s dopamine receptors are eliminated, an adaptation similar to turning down the volume on a loudspeaker when it becomes louder occurs.

What the Definition of Addiction?

It is a term used to refer to the urge to do something that is hard to control or stop.. You could very easily be suffering from addiction If you use:

  • Cigarettes
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana (weed
  • Cocaine
  • Crack
  • Meth
  • Heroin

All of those drugs can really hurt you up to the point of death.


What is the Main Cause of Addiction?

The most common roots of addiction are attributed to the following:

  • Chronic stress
  • History of trauma
  • Mental illness
  • Family history of addiction

In order to decrease your risk of becoming addicted to substances, you need to understand the factors that can lead to chronic substance abuse and addiction. Addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests itself in three distinct ways:

  1. Craving
  2. Losing control over its use
  3. Continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences

How Do Drugs Affect the Brain?

Drugs interfere with the way neurons send, receive, and process signals via neurotransmitters. Some drugs, such as heroin and marijuana, activate neurons due to the fact that their chemical structure mimics a natural neurotransmitter in the body. This allows the drugs to attach to and activate the neurons.

As drugs pass through the body, they go through four stages which include:

  • Absorption
  • Distribution
  • Metabolism
  • Excretion

The body absorbs the drugs administered to it after they are ingested into the bloodstream. As a result, the drugs are distributed throughout the body by the circulatory system. Essentially, once they have reached certain in the organs in the body, such as the kidneys and liver, they are metabolized.

Addicts’ Brains are Different

Drugs impact the brain by producing euphoric effects that motivate users to use again. “Our brains are wired to ensure that we will repeatedly perform life-sustaining activities when we associate those activities with pleasure or rewards,” explains the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Can the Brain Heal Itself After Drug Use?

When you stop using drugs, the good news is that your brain can heal itself, but you have to create the right conditions to achieve this.  Because we know how addiction affects the brain, you can re-establish chemical balance within the brain when you do so. In order to regain control over your impulses, emotions, memory, thinking patterns, and mental health, your brain will need to be balanced in order to do so.

Once you enter into rehab, you will be able to learn the processes to begin the recovery process. By enrolling in our intensive inpatient rehab, you will learn the skills to overcome addiction in your recovery.