How Addiction Works

There comes a point in every person’s life that he’ll feel utter dissatisfaction and emotional discomfort. Some vent out such feelings of inadequacy through activities like eating or writing. Others, however, are routed to the track of drug abuse.

Humans are naturally wired to seek pleasure and comfort. Addicting drugs provide these for a short period of time but with a more heightened effect. They trigger the release of pleasure hormones, dopamine, which then interacts with glutamate to take over the brain’s reward center. Due to this, not only does the user feel pleasure during dopamine release, but he also sees the drug use as a rewarding experience as well—which promotes its repetitive use.

However, after prolonged usage, the brain develops tolerance to the drug and its effect wanes. The abuser then learns that to maintain the same level of high, he would have to take more of it. With long-term use, the brain starts to keep memories of the stimulus associated with the substance. To illustrate, a drug addict would feel the compulsive urge to take cocaine again after seeing someone he used to take the drugs with. This is the reason why some persons return to drug use even after years of self-restraint.

No matter how deep a person is into addiction, there’ll always be a chance for recovery. All he needs is to divert his focus to meaningful and fulfilling activities, such as those facilitated by drug rehabs, to see life in a better perspective.


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