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The Brain And Addiction

Addictive Substances And The Diversity In The Brain

Addictive substances causes changes in the brain over time. These brain modifications make users think only about substance abuse and nothing else once a dependency develops.


Negative effects of substance abuse are ignored once a dependency is developed since that person's brain is completely rewired. Situations or circumstances that relate to former substance abuse can provoke craving years later, even though the physical symptoms have stopped. Rehabilitation is, however, still possible. Recovering from the addiction requires continuous effort, something addicts at rehab centres should know. In recent time, there is a significant changes in the way addicts are helped to break free from it. Seek immediate assistance if you or anyone you know is having problems with an addiction.


How Do Addictions Develop

The human brain is an intricate organ managing all willing and unwilling step we embrace. Everything from basic motor skills to heart and breathing rates to emotions and behaviour to decision makes is controlled by the brain. The limbic system is responsible for the control making people experience a strange feeling of happiness when on drugs. Repeated drug abuse is encouraged by this. The highly intense, involuntary desire to utilize a drug - no matter the damage it may bring - is as a result of the real alterations that have taken place in the brain reward system. The top priority becomes feeding the addiction.


There is a section in the brain charged with addiction. This section of the brain is known as the limbic system. It causes us to feel elated and is also called "brain reward system".



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Initiating The Brain Reward System

The brain's reward system is triggered when a person uses an addictive drug. Activating the reward system on a frequent basis can cause addiction. The brain reward system is usually sparked off when we engage in practices that are great for us. This is all part of natural instincts for adopting and survival. The brain will believe that what is needed to live is taking place each time the brain reward system is switched on. This behaviour is then rewarded by the brain by feelings of happiness.


For instance, we drink water again because the reward system is switched on each time we are thirsty and quench that thirst with water. Even when we engage in dangerous activities, we still feel some satisfaction because these drugs and alcohol have taken over the reward system. Addictive drugs, sadly, have more powerful effects on the brain reward system.


The Biochemistry Of Dependency

Dopamine performs a very crucial role in the reward system. Dopamine sends signals to the reward system and is a naturally produced chemical in the brain. When bought in the limbic system, substances either copy dopamine or lead to an excess creation of it in the brain.

Normal levels of dopamine are caused by normal actions (like food, music, sex, drinking, etc.) and don't reprogram the brain for addiction.

Substances that are addictive can produce more that 10 times dopamine, that the normal reward activities.

Substance use overloads neuroreceptors with dopamine. The intoxicating effect of alcohol and drugs is caused by the combination. Producing the regular amount of dopamine needed by the body becomes difficult for the brain when drug is used for a long time. Basically, the reward system is under the arrest by drugs.

Dopamine levels should go back to the original level, this triggers the desire for addictive substances. Not taking the drug automatically leads to despondency for such addicts.


Neurofeedback In Addiction

A method of addiction treatment getting popularity is neurofeedback. It is as well referred to as Electroencephalogram (ECM) Biofeedback. Neurofeedback trains the brain to learn to function better. A sensor is put on the scalp so that the therapist can track how the brain functions during the biofeedback. When the brain activity changes to positive, healthier pattern, the administrator rewards the brain.

Underlying issues that may be leading to addiction are targeted by neurofeedback, like:

  • Dejected
  • Panicking
  • Severe depression
  • Difficulty sleeping

Neurofeedback has shown that it is a great treatment for drug dependency with numerous patients by helping the brain comprehend how to function without drugs. This is included in the program of some rehab centres. To reach a centre that can help you, please call us now on 0800 246 1509.