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How Drug Addiction Affects the Brain

Drug addiction has been a long-misunderstood condition. There has been, and still is, debate on whether or not it truly is a medical disease or merely a problem of willpower and resolve. Research and studies have shown that drug and alcohol addiction actually cause physical and chemical changes in the brain, causing it to operate differently after a lengthy period of drug use. Once addicted, a person becomes nearly unable to fight against the disease without professional and, in some cases, medical assistance and supervision.

At Orchid Recovery Center, we can help you if you are struggling with drug addiction. Our expertly trained therapists treat women for a wide range of addictions and co-occurring disorders including psychological disorders, eating disorders and childhood/ early adulthood trauma.

In The Beginning: How Drugs of Addiction Affect the Brain

When a drug is inhaled, injected, ingested or otherwise put into the body, it enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain, where it crosses over what is called the blood/ brain barrier. Once there, it interferes with the natural processes of the brain by interfering with the production of neurochemicals that stimulate the brain to produce pleasurable feelings. The drug can cause the brain to release a massive amount of these chemicals, causing an intense euphoria and rush of pleasure. However, the flipside is that while this is happening, the brain’s normal processes are being overwritten with the chemical, and the person gradually comes to rely solely upon the drug to feel any pleasure at all.

How Drug Addiction Affects the Brain: Withdrawal Symptoms

Once you stop taking your drug of choice, withdrawal symptoms like cramps, aches, pains, hot flashes and chills will most likely set in. The more drugs a person has taken, the worse these symptoms will be once they finally stop. This is one of the biggest reasons why people do not want to stop taking drugs: fear of the withdrawal symptoms.

How the Effects of Drugs on the Brain Manifests Everyday

Although an addict may realize that she is harming herself by continuing to take drugs, she may be unable to physically stop taking them, due to changes that are made to the brain when drugs are taken regularly. Also, behavioral patterns and habits become ingrained, and are difficult to break out of, especially once a person’s entire world shifts to being centered around getting the next fix. It is therefore understandable that someone who is heavily addicted to drugs would have difficulty stopping, both because of the addiction and because of their fear of the withdrawal symptoms that will come once they do stop.

Drug Rehab at Orchid Recovery Center

At Orchid, we provide you with all of the resources you need to recover from your addiction to drugs and alcohol. You may not be able to completely reverse the damage done by years of drug abuse, but the earlier you get started the more likely you are to create significant change and stop the current disruption of your brain’s function in its tracks. Contact us at Orchid Recovery Center today if you are ready to get started.

Further Reading