Addiction Treatment

How Addiction Hijacks the Brain

Written By:

Becky Babb

How Addiction Hijacks the Brain

The easiest way to define addiction is to describe it as an intense psychological and physical craving for something and continuing its use despite severe consequences in one’s health, relationships, career, and quality of life.

How does addiction take control of the brain?

Substance addiction completely changes the brain and how it functions. It changes the way your brain understands pleasure and connects this reward mechanism solely to the addiction substance. Due to this association with pleasure, the brain completely disregards any negativity attached to the addiction and continues to urge the body and the mind to pursue the substance of choice, regardless of consequences. Researchers and scientists have discovered in recent years that people can be addicted to anything, it isn’t limited to alcohol and drugs. People can be addicted to shopping, sex, or even Social Media in just the same way an Alcoholic is addicted to drinking, because they trigger the same chemical response in the brain.

Developing Tolerance

The first thing to know in order to understand this occurrence is that the brain releases a chemical called dopamine when it registers pleasure and happiness. Most drugs, alcohol, and other stimulants result in a release of dopamine in the brain, which causes the addiction “high” that feels so good. Eventually, the brain begins to develop a tolerance to this release of dopamine. This is why eventually addicts have to increase their dosage in order to achieve the same degree of pleasure from their substance of choice.

Conquer your brain

This doesn’t mean you should go to war with yourself, it simply means that the first step to recovery from an addiction is to recognize that it actually has more to do with the addiction taking over your brain’s normal way of functioning, which has caused your life to become unmanageable. Once you realize that addiction is a psychological problem as much as it is physical, it’s easier to understand your condition and seek help. Even though it might seem impossible, recovery is achievable with the right help.The Last Resort understands addiction, and knows recovery. If your life has become unmanageable due to addiction, call us today for more information on our treatment programs. 512-750-6750.

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