Addiction 101: How opioids, cocaine, other drugs rewire the brain 🧠| Just The FAQs

Addiction 101: How opioids, cocaine, other drugs rewire the brain 🧠| Just The FAQs


– The human brain is
hardwired to seek pleasure. That’s one of its jobs. Our brains are pretty much a
gigantic network of neurons that try to school us into learning which behaviors are worthwhile, and which ones aren’t, on a daily basis. And today, as countless
people get hooked on things like drugs, technology or social media, companies have actually hacked the system. From junk food to fast
cars, businesses know how to promote products
that are built for pleasure, even if they can harm you. Even doctors with good intentions sometimes prescribe certain painkillers that can send brains over the edge in a pleasure-driven loop
of destructive behavior. But what actually happens to the brain of a person with addiction? It can start with the limbic system, also known as the reward center, unleashing the pleasurable
chemical dopamine when the brain fulfills its craving. Over time, the recurring shot of dopamine can turn a compulsion into an addiction. The brain starts thinking it must have more of the drug or behavior. As the addictive behavior takes hold, the brain will rewire itself, making it harder to stop
the destructive behavior. And if you’re battling
addiction, you are not alone. There are ways to get
off this runaway train. One first step may be
understanding how you got here, how your brain learned
to reward this behavior. But the most important step is realizing there are ways out. Anyone who is suffering from an addiction should call your area’s addiction hotline or contact the national help line from the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services (SAMHS) at 1-800-662-HELP. And get control of your
addiction and your brain.

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