It involves an intense craving for something. This is a result of a manipulated sense of pleasure and the person’s continuous return to the source despite its impact. Once a person has developed a physical and mental dependence on a substance it’s usually difficult for them to quit without help. Understanding how addiction happens requires you to view it as a chronic disease and not as a person’s choice or personal failure.
Severe addictions result from continuous drug or alcohol abuse. Our residential treatment in Texas is most beneficial for people with severe addictions because it separates them from outside distractions and temptations, helping them focus on recovering.
The word addiction is a derivative of the Latin terms for “enslaved by” or “bound to.” Those who have struggled with addiction can understand the relevance of these terms.
Addiction usually manifests itself in three ways:
How addiction happens in the brain is characterized by the way the mind reacts and adapts to the substance in question. For example, drugs like heroin and opioids are among the most addictive because they greatly impact the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Not only do these chemicals affect basic functions like sleep and heart rate, but they also affect a person’s mood. When a person ingests high doses of heroin, their dopamine levels skyrocket, causing feelings of euphoria and pleasure. These symptoms are the ones that draw users in and keep them hooked. As the person develops a tolerance to the substance in question, they’d have to use more of it to experience the same effects. Chronic use eventually leads to addiction.
Chronic substance abuse can have deadly repercussions. Our drug treatment facility in Texas offers a multitude of substance abuse programs in Waelder that address both the physical and psychological aspects of dependence. Breaking free from addiction is possible with the right kind of help.
The root cause of addiction is tied to the pleasure principle, which is a concept introduced by Sigmund Freud that claims people instinctively seek pleasure and avoid pain to satisfy biological and psychological needs. The brain registers all forms of pleasure in the same way, whether it originates from a sexual encounter or a drug. Pleasure in the brain is caused by an increase in dopamine in an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens, resulting in feelings of euphoria and a sense of well-being. Because dopamine release is tightly linked to this area of the brain, scientists tend to refer to it as the brain’s pleasure center.
Whether a person becomes addicted to a particular substance and how quickly they develop this addiction depends on its impact on dopamine release. Simply put, the quicker a particular substance produces dopamine and the more dopamine it produces, the more addictive it is. That’s why certain drugs are more addictive than others and can produce addiction quicker than others. The speed at which dopamine is produced and the intensity of that release can also be affected by how that drug is ingested.
How addiction occurs is also related to dopamine’s role in learning and memory. Nowadays, addiction is believed to be a result of dopamine interaction with a neurotransmitter called glutamate, which takes control over reward-related learning in the brain. This system in the brain connects activities related to human survival, like eating, to pleasure. Addictive substances like drugs and alcohol stimulate this area of the brain, activating motivation and pleasure as well as memory regarding the substance and its effects.