The brain is a very important organ in the human body. It controls how we move, walk, talk, and speak. The brain adapts to environmental changes and allows us to cope with negative emotions, form memories, and learn.
The addicted brain changes chemically and physiologically. Drugs and alcohol affect the brain’s neurotransmitters, which release an excess level of dopamine causing temporary pleasurable feelings and euphoria. According to the Recovery Research Institute, addiction is similar to other chronic diseases because it is preventable, treatable, it changes biology, and if left untreated, it can last a lifetime.
A person living with an addiction will develop a tolerance to the substances he or she uses and seek more of the drugs or alcohol to achieve the same “high” as the first time. Eventually, it becomes increasingly difficult to get the release of more dopamine to feel pleasure. This will lead to a person using more drugs and alcohol, or substances with a higher potency.
The brain adapts and changes with addiction. If you continue to use drugs or alcohol, the changes become more permanent. Drug and alcohol abuse affects major organ function in your body. It causes heart disease, liver failure, some types of cancer, kidney failure, overdose, and early death. Drugs and alcohol affect the brain’s ability to form and store important memories.
This means you will miss significant and meaningful dates and events with loved ones. These substances also can cause irreversible brain damage.
Even if people understand the cycle of addiction and how it changes the brain, they cannot stop until they get help from a reliable treatment program. The brain is dependent on the drugs or alcohol, so a person needs to commit to recovery to change his or her lifestyle. When in treatment, a person’s brain needs to be re-trained to function normally, without toxic substances. It will take time for the brain to re-adjust to a sober, healthy lifestyle. Recovery is possible.
Do not let addiction destroy your life. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, get help today. Nexus Recovery Services specializes in addiction treatment and encompasses holistic therapy for the mind, body, and soul with a focus on staying active and connected to nature. Our mission is to provide tools and support for every client’s seamless transition into a meaningful and fulfilling life of sobriety. We offer a free and confidential consultation. Call us to get started: 888-855-6877