Is Addiction Due to a Chemical Imbalance in the Brain?

Substance addiction can occur for many reasons. It is important to understand the effect addiction has on the brain and body, and how it can alter your brain chemistry. Understanding why people become addicted to substances can help you or a loved one when it comes to supporting someone through their journey to recovery. 

What is Addiction?

Addiction happens when someone becomes dependent on the relief a substance may provide them with. Some reasons a person could be more vulnerable to addiction are if they genetically have a family history of substance abuse problems, they struggle with mental illness/their mental health, or they have a history of trauma or multiple traumas in their life. It is important to understand that many people in active addiction don’t want to be addicts. There is usually a deeper reason going on in their life that drives them to seek relief in substances.

Drug Effects on the Body

How do substances make people feel better? Addiction can alter the way someone’s brain functions. Typically people become addicted to substances that give the brain some sense of rewards, such as serotonin or dopamine. Over time, the person may become dependent on the instant gratification that a substance or substances provide, making it harder for their brain to naturally produce “happy chemicals” such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. 

Is Addiction a Chemical Imbalance?

Chemical imbalances can occur when a person’s brain becomes dependent on a substance or substances for chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. An imbalance in chemicals can cause an addict to crave their substance of choice in times of hardship or distress when they wish to escape and feel happy. Some signs of a chemical imbalance include intense or exaggerated mood swings, socially withdrawing or isolating yourself, and constant fatigue with a lack of energy and motivation. While it may feel impossible to regain control once you have become chemically dependent on a substance, knowing there is always an option to seek help is essential. 

Addiction Treatment in Newark, DE

American Treatment Network offers alcohol and opioid addiction treatment in Newark, DE,  Dover, DE, and Havertown, PA. We also focus on mental health treatments. If you or a loved one is struggling, set up an appointment today with American Treatment Network to begin taking back control of your life.


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