Whether you or someone you love suffers from drug addiction, you see there are actual physical and mental changes happening because of this drug abuse. But are these changes directly caused by the drugs, or are they signs of other problems associated with addiction? Many people wonder how drugs affect the brain. Understanding just how drug abuse can alter brain chemistry, creating dependence is one way to realize just how complex drug addiction is. Addiction is a disease. So, like any disease, individuals struggling with it need professional help to return to full health. At Sante Center for Healing, we not only treat the physical side of addiction but the mental as well. This starts by helping individuals learn how drugs affect the brain.
How Drugs Affect the Brain and Body
When experiencing addiction, your brain rewires itself to keep up with drug use, despite problems caused in your life. While this rewiring is taking place, your body is also affected by the drugs. You notice changes in your weight, skin clarity, muscle tone, hair, fingernails, and physical capabilities. Physical symptoms of your addiction will heal, but brain changes remain long after the drugs clear from your system.
When you use drugs, your brain’s reward system is artificially activated by those drugs. This reward system exists as a lifesaving means of making us feel good when we do things that help us survive. But with drugs, this activation is different than when we feel pleasure from eating food, enjoying healthy activities, or being around people we love. Repeatedly using drugs and activating this system leads to addiction and is how drugs affect the brain.
Role of Brain Changes in Your Addiction
Normal activities of daily life that activate your brain’s reward system do not cause addiction. This is because these activities only trigger healthy amounts of dopamine released into the brain. Dopamine is the chemical creating the feelings of reward that make you repeat healthy actions.
Some drugs mimic dopamine in the brain or trigger the overproduction of the chemical at up to ten times more than naturally produced. This flooding of dopamine in your brain causes the intensely pleasurable high associated with drugs. It also hijacks your natural reward system, making your brain stop producing normal levels of the reward chemical.
As a result of these changes, your brain triggers cravings for the drugs that make you feel good. You also feel unhappy, anxious, and depressed without the pleasure chemicals you need as part of each day. To function normally, you need the drug.
When you stop abusing drugs, your body heals. But how drugs affect the brain does not change. This is why alcohol and drug addiction are relapsing diseases, ones triggering cravings throughout your life.
Helping Your Brain Heal in Argyle, Texas
Santé Center for Healing in Argyle, Texas, focuses on whole-person wellness. As part of an individual treatment plan, you gain physical, chemical, and emotional health improvement based on an integrated approach. For example, our approach includes a variety of programs, treatments, and services such as:
All of these build upon each other and give individuals the best chance for lasting recovery. At Santé Center for Healing, you understand why you abused substances, how you became addicted, and how to prevent relapse with balanced mental health.
The programs at Santé include:
If you are ready to end your suffering in addiction, call Santé Center for Healing at 866.238.3154 for the individualized treatment you need. At Santé, you gain a real chance for a brighter future. Pick up your phone.