Most people assume that those who refuse to quit taking drugs lack morals or basic willpower, but it’s not that black and white. While the initial choice to do drugs is voluntary, the ability to quit is very difficult due to the drugs’ influence on the user’s brain. Understanding this dependency on drugs and how it affects your loved one’s brain will allow you to empathize with him or her and give proper support. In this post, we’re going to talk about what drug addiction is, what’s going on in the brain while the person is on drugs, and how to deal with the addiction.
What is drug addiction?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), drug addiction is “a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her.” As we said before, this isn’t a matter of willpower. Addiction is a brain disease that causes your loved one to continue seeking drugs even if they want to stop. So we need to understand what the drugs are doing to the brain to understand why they honestly can’t stop
What’s going on in the brain during drug use?
Drugs change the way our brains work by messing with how our our nerve cells transmit, receive, and process information critical for our daily living. For example, drugs like cocaine and meth over-stimulate the brain’s “reward centers” by releasing large amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the transmission of pleasure signals to the brain. This overabundance of dopamine causes a euphoric high effect, which “teaches” the person to continue to use the drug. However, continued abuse of the drug causes the brain to adapt to the dopamine by producing less of it or decreasing the number of dopamine receptors, and the person can’t get the same high anymore. Because of this, the person does not enjoy the drugs as much and cannot enjoy normal, everyday activities, like spending time with friends and family, that used to cause their brain to release dopamine. Inevitably, this leads the person to seek out larger quantities of drugs or more dangerous drugs to get the same amount of dopamine flowing to the brain. According to NIDA, after abusing drugs for a long period of time, there are “changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision making, learning and memory, and behavior control.“ This can cause drug-addicted individuals to compulsively seek out drugs despite the dangerous consequences. That’s the harsh reality of drug addiction.
How do you deal with drug addiction?
As you can see, drug addiction is a tough cycle to break. Not only is your loved one unable to enjoy life without abusing large amounts of drugs to get a dopamine high, but he or she can’t control the urge either. But there is a way to stop it. According to NIDA, “Research shows that combining addiction treatment medications with behavioral therapy is the best way to ensure success for most patients.” The Gallus Detox Method offers such a treatment. We offer a two-stage solution: 1) Drug detox – This safely cleanses the body while medically reducing withdrawal symptoms and keeping the patient’s utmost comfort in mind. 2) Drug rehab – After drug detoxification, we can help you enroll in an on-going drug rehab recovery program at another facility. While the detox helps your loved one deal with the nasty effects of drugs on the brain, rehab helps them become a stronger person–physically, mentally and emotionally. They will learn how to live without drugs and build stronger relationships. Do you have a loved one who’s addicted to drugs and needs help? Contact Gallus Detox online or call 855-338-6929 for help. All information you send us will be kept completely confidential.