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Dependency And The Brain

Addictive Drugs And Alterations In The Brain

After the prolonged use, these drugs can alter the brain. These brain modifications make users think only about substance abuse and nothing else once a dependency develops.


The moment a person develops dependence, his or her brain is highly set to use substances in spite of the effects. After several years, the desire to use the drug again may manifest itself due to some memories from the past after the effects on the body are gone. Despite this, recovery is still possible. But patients should understand that treatment is a continuous process. During the past years, dependency treatment is progressing constantly and quickly. If you or an individual you love is fighting to defeat dependence, acquire aid straight away.


Development Of Addictions

Everything we do, both consciously or unconsciously, are controlled by the brain. Our attitude, breathing, how we think and decide on issues, and other important skills are dictated by the brain. The limbic system is responsible for the control making people experience a strange feeling of happiness when on drugs. Repeated drug abuse is encouraged by this. Real changes have happened in the limbic system that cause the overwhelming, uncontrollable urge to use the substance, no matter what harm it may cause. The top priority becomes feeding the addiction.


Dependence on drugs is controlled by a section of the brain. This section of the brain is known as the limbic system. It causes us to feel elated and is also called "brain reward system".



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Setting Off The Brain Reward System

The brain reward system is activated by the abuse of habit forming substances. Dependency might occur if a person often triggers this system with a substance. The brain reward system is usually sparked off when we engage in practices that are great for us. It is part and parcel of our natural capability to get used to and survive. Anytime this system is activated, the brain concludes that an activity requiring survival is taking place. That action is then rewarded by the brain by releasing enjoyable emotions.


Drinking water when are thirsty, for instance, sparks off the reward system, therefore, we repeat this conduct. Even when we engage in dangerous activities, we still feel some satisfaction because these drugs and alcohol have taken over the reward system. Sadly, the effects on the brain reward system are far much potent from addictive substances.


Dependency Biochemistry

Dopamine performs a very crucial role in the reward system. It communicates with the limbic system because it resides in the brain. When presented into the reward system, substances sometime ape dopamine or lead to an excessive production of it inside the brain.

Because the dopamine they produce is insignificant, regular activities like food, music, sex, and drinking, do not alter the brain and cause dependence although they can switch on the reward system.

The dopamine released by addictive substances can be up to 10 times more than the amount released from normal actions.

Substance use overloads neuroreceptors with dopamine. This makes one feel "high", similar to when you take drugs. The human brain can't create regular dopamine levels normally after prolonged and constant substance abuse. Essentially, the reward system is taken hostage by the drug.

The result is craving the substances that will bring dopamine levels back to normal. Users that find themselves in these situations have to use drugs in order to feel good.


Neurofeedback In Dependency

Neurofeedback is gaining footing as a treatment for addiction. Electroencephalogram (EEG) Biofeedback is another name for it. Neurofeedback trains the brain to learn to function better. Sensors are applied to the scalp by the person performing the therapy that monitor brain activity during this process. With this, the brain can improve its performance and make it better, the brain is then rewarded for doing that.

Underlying issues that may be leading to addiction are targeted by neurofeedback, like:

  • Desolation
  • Panicking
  • Upheaval
  • Difficulty sleeping

Neurofeedback records a successful trend as addiction treatment option, as it helps retrain the brain how to function without drugs. This is included in the program of some rehab centres. If you need assistance, contact us on 0800 246 1509 and we will find one for you.