The human brain is still an enigma, even with the vast amount of knowledge we have on the human body, the brain is still considered to be uncharted territory for even the world’s leading medical professionals. When substance abuse is a part of the equation, understanding the human mind can become even more complicated and unknown.
Drug addiction affects each person so differently, but thankfully, as time has passed science has allowed us to recognize common themes. As more time has gone on and technology has advanced, we have more insight now than ever on the mind of an addict. It has enabled health care professionals to provide better addiction treatment options, instead of a one size fits all treatment approach.
How Addiction Alters the Mind
Depending on the specific drug, amount used, and other factors such as genetic and environmental factors, all influence how exactly it alters the brain. Nonetheless, every drug interacts with a variety of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that serve different purposes but are necessary in order to maintain homeostasis. Prolonged drug abuse alters not only the brain’s chemistry (neurotransmitters) but also the circuity, and one’s cognitive abilities. Addiction affects every aspect of the mind, so it’s only plausible, changes will occur no matter what. The degree drug abuse has on modifying the mind is insanely powerful, causing one to feel like they aren’t even in control of their actions or thoughts any longer.
The Mind of an Addict
It is important to understand that addiction is a chronic illness and much more than just a “weakness.” By putting yourself in the minds of an addict you will gain more empathy and understanding of the struggles they endure. Addiction hijacks the brain’s reward and pleasure system, resulting in numerous changes regarding their thought process, emotions, and even their interpretations of their environment.
Common emotions include shame, guilt, and depression and many addicts are relieved of those emotions when they get high. Unfortunately, with long term drug use symptoms and experiences worsen, potentially leading to paranoia, dementia, and stroke. Addiction can be a life-threatening disease but by looking inside the mind of an addict, one can better equip themselves to understand the severity and seek help sooner.
How Addiction Treatment Can Help in Havertown, PA and Wilmington, DE
Thankfully, a combination of mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment has shown to produce positive results. Here at American Treatment Network, we have been able to help thousands overcome addiction and substance use disorders. We offer immediate access to care and a variety of treatment plans, with the sole understanding that each person is different, thus the treatment must be too. Our substance abuse clinics in Havertown, PA and Wilmington, DE are here to help. Reach out today if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction.