Addiction and the Brain: Breaking Down the Effects of Drugs on the Human Brain

The human brain is a highly complex organ. It may seem like a big organ that controls your body, but that’s actually quite an oversimplification. Neurons, a special type of cell in our body, carry messages back and forth between the brain and the rest of our body. This complex neural network is unlike any other existing system or process in history, but it can be susceptible to manipulation and corruption.

Drugs can be quite a potent substance capable of changing the way the neurons talk to each other. These changes cause neurons to make you act in ways that you normally wouldn’t. American Treatment Network, a substance abuse clinic in Havertown, PA, helps you understand how drugs affect the brain of someone with an addiction and how our brain responds to these destructive substances.

The Biochemistry of Addiction

The human brain responds differently to addiction based on a number of factors such as the type and amount of drugs used, the frequency, and the stage of addiction. For example, a person under the influence of cocaine will feel some form of euphoria that is due to the psychoactive effects of the drug. This ultimately impacts areas of the brain that control pleasure and motivation, leading to that euphoric feeling.

The more someone abuses a drug, the more intense the symptoms they feel. They start feeling physical symptoms, as well as the impact of the chemical throughout their nervous system. Then follows a slew of disturbing sensations like paranoia, nausea, and hallucinations of which they have no control over.

Why Do People Keep Taking Drugs Despite Its Negative Effects?

Drugs change the brain’s biochemistry in ways that make quitting hard and sometimes even next to impossible. Research has shown that one of the key defining characteristics of addictive substances is their ability to force the brain to release copious amounts of dopamine, which creates the desire to repeat the experience of taking drugs. The worst part is, our brain’s reactions to dopamine are easily triggered by most of the commonly abused drugs that are extremely addictive.

The Brain during Addiction and Withdrawal

As a consequence of drug addiction, our brain unwittingly rewards us with dopamine, which is a “feel good” hormone. Essentially, it encourages drug addiction, keeping the individual in a cycle of highs and lows. Once an addicted individual suddenly stops, the harsh mental, physical, and emotional after-effects come crashing down on them. These effects can be so severe that some people may need to get mental health treatment in Havertown, PA.

After someone with an addiction stops abusing drugs, they enter a withdrawal stage where feelings of intense craving, depression, and anxiety take place. This extreme reaction to the absence of drugs is due to the rewiring of the brain after prolonged exposure to the substance. Withdrawal symptoms often need professional treatment, which can significantly help reduce the chance of relapse.

Get the Treatment You Deserve

Addiction impacts the brain on many levels and often hijacks it into thinking that what you’re taking is good for you. People become slaves to their desires and become victims of drug abuse without knowing how to be free from it. Only through professional help can an addicted person have a fighting chance to get back up and free themselves from the effects of destructive substances.

Substance Abuse Treatment in Havertown, PA

American Treatment Network is an outpatient substance abuse clinic offering customized integrated health care for patients suffering from substance use disorders. We help people turn their life around by giving the necessary support to beat their addiction. For medication-assisted treatment in Havertown, PA, schedule an appointment with American Treatment Network today.


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