Human Physiology And Addiction Why Anyone Can Be.e A Substance

Health Many people live under the assumption that they are not susceptible to addiction, and that substance abuse only afflicts the weak-willed and morally degenerate. Negative stereotypes of alcoholics and drug addicts may contribute to these assumptions. Even many of those who do suffer from addiction deny their problems and continue to view drug dependency as something that only affects other people. Addiction is a physiological condition, however, and because humans all share the same basic brain chemistry, anyone can be.e an addict. While mental or emotional conditions may lead to an addicts first use of a substance, a full-blown addiction is a clinical, neurological disease. Just like other clinical diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, addiction can afflict anybody. The physiological processes that take a person from casual use to tolerance, to dependence are the same for everyone. Here are the steps a persons brain takes in developing an addiction: Dopamine Release Most drugs cause the human brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter which creates a euphoric sensation, relieves pain, and provides a sense of well-being. Dopamine is part of the same feedback mechanism which .pels humans to seek food, sex, and most other pleasurable things. When a person has an experience that leads to a dopamine release, the brain creates physical, neurological pathways which .pel similar behavior in the future. Unfortunately, this happens even when that experience is as harmful as drug use. Tolerance Users may be .pelled by their neurological pathways to continue taking a drug, but they will eventually develop a tolerance to it. In its attempts to mitigate the effects of a foreign substance, a frequent users body will down-regulate its dopamine production in response to a given drug. Therefore, that user must take higher and higher amounts to feel the same euphoric effect. A chemically-altered brain still seeks that powerful euphoria, however, so a cycle of ever-higher dosage sets in. Dependence Though the human body at first fights a drug by developing a tolerance, brain chemistry will eventually change. If the use of a drug is repeated frequently enough, the central nervous system begins to accept it. Dopamine production is again down-regulated, and the brain now relies on the drug to stimulate certain receptors necessary for normal bodily functioning. In fact, the brain of a drug user at this stage actually starts to perform normally while under the influence of the foreign substance. Removing the drug from the body shocks the brain and leads to strong .pulsions for the drug. Addiction What many people call a full-blow addiction is simply a severe case of dependence, characterized by certain behaviors. Addicts constantly crave drugs to the point that they lose control of when and where they get high, and they will ignore the physical, social, and emotional consequences of their abuse. Relapse Since addiction is a permanent neurological condition, relapse is .mon and even expected among recovering drug abusers. Many addicts struggle through seemingly endless cycles of drug use, intensive treatments, and relapse. People who have never experienced an addiction may view relapse as a sign of weak will, but it far more akin to the often unpreventable relapses experienced by cancer patients. Everyone from every walk of life is susceptible to drug and alcohol addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, make the decision to confront the problem and seek help. Click the links below for a toll-free, confidential consultation with one of our trained specialists. We are standing by around the clock to help you. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: