Understanding what happens during drug or alcohol addiction can help both prevent it and assist those who are currently suffering by providing insights into the disease. When someone becomes addicted to a substance, it means they have a strong urge to use the substance even if it means negative health impacts.

Where Does Addiction Stem From?

Addiction can be seen as progressive dependency on a substance. Even the single use of a drug can lead to addiction as it opens up the option to find and take the drug again, something hard to ignore for those who were born with a genetic predisposition to addiction.

When you know that addiction is a chronic disease that has no actual cure, you can better understand why it is such a high-pressure issue to address sooner than later. Even those who are able to find sobriety early on in their drug or alcohol use will need to remain mindful of urges and cravings that may pop up out of the blue.

What We Now Know About Addiction

Nearly 10% of Americans admit to a known addiction to drugs or alcohol with alcohol addiction making up over two-thirds of that number. Early approaches to addiction recovery focused heavily on attempting to break the dependencies through sheer willpower rather than searching for underlying causes.

Thankfully the scientific community as since come to understand and label addiction as a disease due to the impact it has the brain and nervous system in those born with it. By altering how the brain develops, addiction can take the standard system of action and reward that produces dopamine and make it more prone to chasing any action that resulted in more dopamine production.

More Use Means More Tolerance

The more drugs and alcohol are abused, the more the brain and body become dependent on it. In order to satisfy the dependency and avoid withdrawal symptoms, users will start taking their substance of choice regularly. As more and more of the substance is used, the more that’s needed to achieve the same results.

The reason this happens is that the more a substance is used, the more our brain and body accommodate the excess amount of chemicals produced, namely dopamine. Once the presence of the substance is gone, our brain is unable to process the sudden lack of dopamine and users can start to feel immense senses of depression and apathy.

Once Addiction Sets In, Cravings Take Control

Individuals that find themselves craving drugs or alcohol no matter the consequence have fallen into the cycle of addiction. As the brain’s only means of dopamine has become external substances, it will drive the user to great lengths in order to obtain and consume them.

At this point it’s critical to seek help and an addiction recovery program. Our team at America’s Rehab Campuses is comprised of premier addiction professionals that share a passion to see everyone live a life without drug and alcohol abuse or addiction. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you or a loved one is in need of compassionate help and support in fighting off addiction.