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Drug Addiction And The Nervous System

The thrill of a drug rush keeps drug addicts coming back for more.  The fuzzy edges of reality keep alcoholics drinking beyond control.  These effects from drug and alcohol are signals from the body’s nervous system.  Eventually, this vital system of neurons and neurotransmitters suffers significant damage.  Because this is an important method of communication within the body, damage eventually affects many bodily functions we take for granted each day.

How Neurotransmitters Work

The messages traveling along your nervous system in the blink of an eye.  What’s more amazing is how complex the mechanisms are that allow it to work so well.  Your nerves don’t zing messages in a straight line like electricity along an enclosed wire.  Instead, they jump across hundreds and thousands of little gaps or “synapses” between your nerve endings.

The chemicals in these synapses are called neurotransmitters.  They transmit the messages from one nerve to the next at breakneck speed.  Several different neurotransmitters do this job over and over throughout the body.  Each neurotransmitter fits into certain spots on the nerve endings like a key fits into a lock.  These locks are called neurotransmitter receptors.  Some of commonly known neurotransmitters are dopamine, serotonin, and histamine.

How Drug Addiction Affects Neurotransmitters

Dopamine is a big player in drug and alcohol addiction.  It is involved with feelings of pleasure and pain, emotions, and controlling bodily movement.  When drugs and alcohol get into the bloodstream, they fit themselves into the dopamine receptors.  This artificial connection can either make a message happen or prevent a message from happening.

This is where drugs and alcohol can be so disruptive.  As a person uses drugs and alcohol more and more, the body adjusts to this and becomes more attached to the drugs than the natural dopamine.  The body “forgets” how to use it’s own dopamine receptors in the normal way.  When the drugs and alcohol disappear from the blood stream, the body revolts with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.  Consistent excessive drug use has set up the body to rely on something external to function properly.  This makes recovering from addiction so difficult to do without drug treatment or alcohol rehab.

Recovery From Drug Addiction

After years of hard drug use or alcoholism, the efficiency of nervous system can really suffer.  Scientists are not certain if neurological damage from drug addiction can be reversed.  Certainly, if a person stops using drugs and alcohol and transforms their lifestyle to complete sobriety, future damage can be prevented.  Drug treatment can help a person safely and somewhat comfortably get the drugs out of their body and begin a sober lifestyle.   For more answers about drug addiction recovery, contact the drug rehab centers in your
area today.

Creative Commons License photo credit: jacksonwes

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