How Does Addiction Start?

Not every person that tries drugs or alcohol gets addicted, so you may be wondering why some do? It’s a good question, and we will try our best to answer it for you.

Every person is motivated by pleasure, and little neurotransmitters in our brain regulate the release of pleasure signals called dopamine. Dopamine is the main chemical responsible for every ounce of pleasure that we get from eating, sleeping in, watching TV, listening to music, and anything else that brings joy and euphoria.

In people that aren’t addicted to drugs, this pleasure release happens naturally when good things are experienced. When someone does drugs, this pleasure release is interrupted and instead the substance uses its own pleasure signals and chemicals to mimic dopamine to a higher level.

However, the effects of the substance are temporary, which means the dopamine experience is temporary as well. When the substance is not releasing pleasurable chemicals in the brain, it can be agonizing for the individual. The effects of this are called withdrawal symptoms, and they are the main reason addicts continue to use the substance regularly.

As they continue use of the substance they develop a higher tolerance for it. This means that the brain begins to get used to the chemical and the pleasurable effect diminishes in strength. One would think this would allow for the seeking of treatment, and in fact, sometimes it does, but more often than not the addict will begin to use more of the substance.

An alcoholic will drink more to feel the effects of alcohol, and someone doing a harmful drug will up their dose to increase the potency. This practice is highly dangerous, and overdose is a risk many users face each day as they pour these substances into their bodies. The higher threshold makes them believe that they need the substance to function in life, as they feel completely horrible without it.

Genetics play a large role in whether or not someone will become addicted to a substance. Studies show that addictive behavior is more likely is family members have exhibited harmful behaviors of substance or alcohol abuse.

The environment is also a factor in the development of addictions. Someone that grows up around drugs and alcohol is more likely to participate in the behavior, as well as someone that works in an environment with those substances. The more time an individual spends around them, the more likely they are to affect that individual’s life.

The cycle of abuse can be broken by seeking treatment at a qualified and licensed facility that aims to help patients fight their addiction. Do not wait any longer than you should to get help for yourself or a loved one at our facility.

We have all the tools you need to get back on track and focus on your health and the recovery of your long-term sobriety. Just because alcohol or drugs had a hold on you doesn’t mean they have to continue having any power. Our facility lets patients take power from their addiction and use it to guide themselves on a better path.

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