Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Truths About Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Addiction affects millions of people regardless of their age, gender and background. Several people suffer from addictions not necessarily related to substance abuse. It is important to note that suffering from addiction is neither a sin nor shameful. Moreover, acknowledging that you need help is the first step to recovery. At https://www.vsmdetoxaustin.com/ offer great treatment programs in the recovery journey from alcohol and drug addiction.

Causes of Addiction

There is no one specific cause of addiction, as different people may have combinations of other illnesses. This is referred to as dual diagnosis. Factors that contribute to the misuse of substances are:

Peer pressure

Millennials are most affected since they desire to fit in with their friends. Also, they don't want to lose friends, so they end up succumbing to the influence and becoming addicts.


A major factor in society. People start abusing drugs if they are available in school, work, and home environments. Unfortunately, in some cases, parents introduce their children to drug abuse directly or indirectly. Some children grow up to think that using drugs is okay and end up being addicts.

Life events and trauma

Some of life's situations can push one to seek an escape or relief from drugs and alcohol. People who suffer from the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, and heartbreak are more vulnerable. Additionally, some occupations, like being a member of the armed forces and first responders, are exposed to a high level of stress and may abuse drugs. Studies show that between 60-80% of people who abuse drugs have PTSD.

Childhood experiences

A major underlying factor that most people are not even aware of till they seek counseling. Difficult childhood experiences like physical, verbal, or sexual abuse, violence, neglect, separation, or divorce are some of the factors that may impact the use of substances.

Some of the physical signs that someone experiences due to drug dependence are weight gain or loss, bloodshot eyes, change in appetite, and sleeping patterns. However, some of these signs appear gradually depending on the substance being abused. Physical signs to look out for include:

  • Extreme hyperactivity or extreme lethargy
  • Changes in the skin such as jaundice, scabs, bruises, acne, and paleness
  • Decreased grooming habits or poor personal hygiene, such as not washing hair, brushing your teeth, and showering
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Poor coordination

Understanding How Addiction Affects the Brain

Normally, the brain produces different hormones to help with functionality. Loss of control fuels addiction, and the brain experiences a series of changes that start with recognition of pleasure and end with compulsive behavior.

The Pleasure Principle

The brain stimulates dopamine from its pleasure center when it perceives a sexual experience or psychoactive drug. All forms of pleasure are perceived similarly by the brain. The difference in how the brain releases the dopamine hormone is in speed, reliability, and intensity. Abuse of drugs stimulates a high surge of dopamine which floods the brain, intensifying the addiction,

The Reward System

Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, has other functions, such as helping in the learning process and retaining memory. When dopamine interacts with glutamate, it takes control over the reward circuit. Huge doses of these hormones result in a high boost of motivation that leads to overreliance on drugs.

The Brain Develops Tolerance

With continued use of substances, the brain becomes overwhelmed and may either reduce dopamine release or get rid of its receptors. An addict, therefore, continues consumption of drugs in high doses to get the pleasure you once knew.

Drug and alcohol abuse creates short-lived relief. Opioids provide temporary relief by offering painlessness, but the long-term effects of any drugs are detrimental. Compulsion later becomes a driving force as humans want to relieve that pleasure.

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