-When Drugs are abused they activate the same brain circuits Linked to survival. such as: eating, bonding, and sex. -Dopamine levels change, which results in feelings of pleasure. Soon the pleasure turns into a need for survival.
“ It’s not as simple as just saying No, or just stopping. Once someone Has arrived at the chronic condition Of alcohol or drug dependence, it’s Not that easy for them to quit.” Personal willpower and And personal weakness have little To do with a persons addiction. Drugs and Alcohol change The way people think, it affects The brain making it harder to Just quit cold turkey.
“ All major drugs of abuse affect a single brain circuit. Traditionally Called the “Reward Center”, now known as the “ Mesolimbic Pathway”(Peck, R). “ There is an actual biochemical alteration of parts of the brain that are necessary for us to make decisions and control our behavior”(Addition, 53-54). “ The addictive process moves in, undoes or weakens what the brain knew before, and then teaches it something entirely knew” (Addition,62).
-”Reduced dopamine activity. Drugs send rapid surges of dopamine, and the brain responds by reducing normal dopamine activity. -This can result in loss of feeling of pleasure. -Altered brain regions that control decision making And judgment. -Drugs of abuse affect the regions of The brain that help us control our desires and Emptions . -This leads addicted people to Compulsively pursue drugs, even when the drugs Have lost their power to reward”(Addition, 56).
“ The brains of chronic heavy drinkers shrink, specifically in the frontal Cortex, which is responsible for higher-level cognitive functions Such as planning and reasoning, and in the cerebellum, which governs gait, balance, And some kinds of learning. Long-term alcohol abuse also damages the hippocampus, which is the brains center For learning, memory, and mood, and the factory supplies the entire brain with New brain cells Some very heavy drinkers may develop Wernickie-Korsakoff syndrome, in which The alcoholic cannot remember new information for more then a few seconds. This condition is irreversible”(Addiction, 72).
“ When people who are addicted to alcohol, nicotine, or a drug Try to kick the habit, the first challenge is dealing with withdrawal Such as: agitation, nausea , and problems concentrating. Depending of the substance, the withdrawal process may take days to weeks. But intense cravings for the desired substance may continue For years, often triggering relapse”(Harvard Mental Health Letter, 7).
(2010). Why addiction causes craving. Harvard Mental Health Letter , 27 (2), 7. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database. Peck, R. (1996). The addicted brain: An era of scientific breakthroughs. Behavioral Health Management , 16 (5), 33. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database Sheff, Warren, Ketcham, Eban, D,L,K,K. (2007). Addition Why Can’t They Just Stop?. New York: Rodale Inc. from library of congress Cataloging-in-Publication database.