• 24th February 2020

The Biology of Addiction: Your Brain Is in Control

Anyone who is struggling with substance abuse should reach out to the clinicians and counselors working at BriteLife Recovery. At BriteLife Recovery, there is an opportunity to recover from substance abuse addiction, so you can move on with your life and get healthier once again.

When you started taking opioids or began to drink regularly, you probably didn’t think that you’d end up with an addiction. Addiction, however, is a disorder that has a real biological cause. The biological process that lead to addiction are linked to the reward pathways in your brain, which makes it hard to overcome the addiction.

Feeling Good Comes at a Cost

With substance abuse, feeling good comes at a cost. Why does taking drugs or using alcohol result in substance abuse and addiction for some people, though?

Think about things that give you pleasure. For instance, maybe you love seeing puppies. Every time you see puppies, you feel happy. That’s a result of the “reward” system in your brain that releases chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin to help boost your mood.

When you take drugs or use alcohol, the same thing can happen. The trouble is that the brain learns how much you normally use and wants you to increase the amount to get those same effects, which leads to cravings and addiction.

There is another darker side to addiction, too, which is withdrawal. When you don’t give the brain what it wants, you may have serious symptoms of withdrawal to contend with. They can be debilitating and include symptoms such as:

  • Agoraphobia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Cold or hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Shakes
  • Delirium

In some cases, withdrawal from a particular substance can be dangerous, which is why it’s advisable to seek help from a recovery center such as BriteLife Recovery if you’re trying to get through withdrawal in order to detox your body.

What Makes Addictions Worse?

Addictions may get worse if you regularly consume the substance. Over time, your body could become familiar with the drug or substance, learning to manage its effects and to metabolize it faster. Now, as a result of your longer-term use, the body knows how to handle the drug or alcohol and how to flush it out of your system faster. This is called your tolerance level.

When you don’t breach that tolerance level, you may not feel drunk or high. You might then increase the dose to achieve those feelings, which leads to further addiction.

An addictive disorder requires medical attention, so you can get clean.

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