Thursday, May 23, 2024

How Does Drug Addiction Affect The Body

Heroin And Prescription Opioids

How do drugs affect the brain? – Sara Garofalo

Heroin and prescription opioid drugs like OxyContin , Vicodin , fentanyl, methadone, and Dilaudid bind to opioid receptors in the brain and trigger the release of dopamine. In a sense, these drugs hijack the limbic system in the brain, inducing a powerful high that individuals are often keen to recreate, leading to reinforcing behaviors. Opioid drugs are considered highly addictive, as ASAM publishes that almost a quarter of heroin users will suffer from addiction to opioids. Over 2.5 million Americans battled opioid addiction in 2015. Heroin is considered the fastest-acting opioid, taking effect nearly immediately and making it extremely addictive, the Drug Enforcement Administration warns. When someone takes an opioid drug repeatedly, they can develop a tolerance to it as the body gets used to its interaction in the brain. Individuals may then take more of the drug to feel the desired effects. The brain will then stop functioning as it did before introduction of the opioid, causing levels of dopamine to drop when the drug wears off.

Tobacco Addiction: A Major Health Hazard

Tobacco is considered to be one of the deadliest substances known to man. Smoking tobacco is responsible for causing lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and cardiovascular problems.

Cigarettes contain nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar, ammonia, arsenic, lead, cadmium, and cyanide.

As you can see, substance abuse can affect almost every part of your body and can be extremely harmful. If you or someone you know suffers from addiction, please contact someone for help.

You can find experienced counselors who will guide you through the process of recovery and individualized programs that address the specific needs of each person.

Substance abuse should be treated seriously and if left untreated, it could be fatal.

The Effects Of Heroin Use

Is Heroin Harmful? Heroin is the name for a modified version of morphine that is a very addictive and illegal opioid drug . The drug is available on the illicit market in a number of different varieties, with purer product tending to occur in white …

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Recommended Reading: Why Do Heroin Addicts Itch

Brain Therapies For Addiction

When someone battling addiction enters a facility, they receive medication and have access to innovative treatments. A common treatment to stabilize and soothe the brain after addiction is biofeedback therapy. This allows a professional to monitor the brain. They can figure out how to improve brain activity, reducing the effects of addiction and unhealthy impulses.

Biofeedback uses electroencephalograms . EEGs are typically used to help individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries and can be helpful to individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder and other brain disorders. Biofeedback reduces stress and reduces involuntary functions. This therapy can also include meditation, guided imagery, and muscle relaxation.

When this is combined with therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy , biofeedback improves the individuals involuntary functions, like heartbeat, blood pressure, and muscle contraction. Neurofeedback, or EEQ therapy, is a type of biofeedback. This therapy is a brain-training treatment. In the case of addiction, this therapy monitors the brains activity. It helps patients to reduce stress and anxiety and can treat compulsions. The end result of both therapies is the administrator rewarding the brain to recover how it functions.

Addiction And The Brain

You Are Caught With Drugs

Your brain controls every aspect of your body, as well as your ability to think and process new information. However, the effects of chemical compounds in drugs, alcohol, and even nicotine have far-reaching effects.

Most immediately is the effect on behavior. Inhibitions are lowered, and the cravings and desire to drink or use are heightened. The ability and desire to refrain from using is muted, which leads to increased use. The changes in the brain from addictive substances can actually make the brain more addicted.

Physiological changes in the brain affect the way that an addict is able to create and preserve memories. Many people speak of blacking out, but what happens is that the brain may not be capable of turning the short-term memories from a night of drinking or getting high into long-term memories. The persons memories werent created due to the affects of drugs.

Drugs and alcohol cause irreversible brain damage, as well. Long-term drinking has shown a reduction in the white matter in the brain and shrinking of the brain tissue. Long-term alcoholics may see reduced cognitive ability and even early-onset dementia.

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Retraining The Brain After Addiction

Even if people understand the changes and cycle of addiction effects and how these effects change the brain, they cannot stop on their own. The brain is dependent on drugs or alcohol, so a person needs to commit to recovery to change his or her lifestyle. When in treatment, a persons brain needs to be re-trained to function normally, without toxic substances. It will take time for the brain to re-adjust to a sober, healthy lifestyle.

At Corner Canyon Health Centers, we focus on the Gut-Brain connection to restore adequate levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Its our top priority to heal the brain after someone has suffered from addiction.

What Is Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a chronic brain disease. It causes a person to take drugs repeatedly, despite the harm they cause. Repeated drug use can change the brain and lead to addiction.

The brain changes from addiction can be lasting, so drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease. This means that people in recovery are at risk for taking drugs again, even after years of not taking them.

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Effects Of Drugs On The Brain & Neurotransmitters

Mind-altering drugs may slow down or speed up the central nervous system and autonomic functions necessary for living, such as blood pressure, respiration, heart rate, and body temperature. Levels of some of the brains chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, are also impacted by drug abuse, including:

  • Dopamine: This neurotransmitter regulates moods, enhances pleasure, and is involved with movement, reward and reinforcing behaviors, motivation, and attention.
  • Drugs that can impact dopamine levels: Marijuana, heroin & other opioids, stimulants, ecstasy, PCP
  • Serotonin: This neurotransmitter is responsible for stabilizing moods and regulating emotions.
  • Drugs that can impact serotonin levels: ecstasy and hallucinogens
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid : GABA acts as a natural tranquilizer, mitigating the stress response and lowering anxiety levels as well as slowing down functions of the central nervous system.
  • Drugs that can impact GABA levels: benzodiazepines
  • Norepinephrine: Similar to adrenaline, norepinephrine is often called the stress hormone, as it speeds up the central nervous system in response to the fight-or-flight response. It also homes focus and attention while increasing energy levels.
  • Drugs that can impact norepinephrine levels: opioids and ecstasy
  • The Effects Of A Drug On Your Body Could Be Completely Different To Someone Else

    Mechanism of Drug Addiction in the Brain, Animation.

    How drugs affect your body could be completely different to another person taking the same drug and same dosage. This is due to a number of different factors that are personal to you and your genetic makeup.

    Many drugs will also cross over as having properties or effects of another group, depending on how they are used.

    For instance, alcohol is the most commonly abused depressant drug but when taking in large quantities it can have hallucinogenic effects, altering a persons perception. Another example would be opiates which are depressant narcotic drugs but certain individuals will feel stimulant like effects.

    Tolerance and dependence to a drug also alters a drugs effects on the body as does abusing a drug, taking excessive amounts of a drug, mixing it with alcohol, another drug, or prescription medication.

    Because everybody is individual it is impossible to predict exactly what effects a drug will have on a person.

    We can therefore only provide a guideline of common effects commonly abused drugs have on the body.

    Read Also: Am I Getting Addicted To Alcohol

    Ways How Drugs Affect A Human Body Physically

    If we talk about how drugs affect a human body than there is no short answer to this, drug addiction is all about killing a human body slowly and sometimes fast. We donât understand the damages initially but later when it starts becoming a disease we understand the physical damages and it affects. 10 ways how drugs affect a humanbody physically are as follow:

    How Does The Brain Work

    The brain is often likened to an incredibly complex and intricate computer. Instead of electrical circuits on the silicon chips that control our electronic devices, the brain consists of billions of cells, called neurons, which are organized into circuits and networks. Each neuron acts as a switch controlling the flow of information. If a neuron receives enough signals from other neurons that it is connected to, it fires, sending its own signal on to other neurons in the circuit.

    The brain is made up of many parts with interconnected circuits that all work together as a team. Different brain circuits are responsible for coordinating and performing specific functions. Networks of neurons send signals back and forth to each other and among different parts of the brain, the spinal cord, and nerves in the rest of the body .

    To send a message, a neuron releases a neurotransmitter into the gap between it and the next cell. The neurotransmitter crosses the synapse and attaches to receptors on the receiving neuron, like a key into a lock. This causes changes in the receiving cell. Other molecules called transporters recycle neurotransmitters , thereby limiting or shutting off the signal between neurons.

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    Fighting Addiction With Corner Canyon Health Centers

    Knowing the effects of addiction can motivate a person to quit drugs or alcohol, however, the physical changes in the brain make it very difficult for a person to stop using even if they want to. Its too easy to get pulled in by addiction and this is why healing the addicted brain is so important. Although there is no cure for addiction, there is treatment and hope for recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or a substance use disorder, do not be afraid to ask for help. Save a life and get help today.

    At Corner Canyon Health Centers, our doors are open to adult clients seeking healing and transformation to put their lives on the path of recovery. We understand the effects of addiction on the brain and body. Our residential treatment centers offers a warm and welcoming home environment paired with exceptional individualized clinical care utilizing the latest in scientific advancement for treating both mental health and addiction treatment. For information on our program contact us today. We can help you get the treatment you deserve and stop the effects of addiction in your life.

    Whos Most Likely To Become Addicted

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    Each personâs body and brain are different. People also react differently to drugs. Some love the feeling the first time they try it and want more. Others hate it and never try again.

    Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. But it can happen to anyone and at any age. Some things may raise your chances of addiction, including:

    • Family history. Your genes are responsible for about half of your odds. If your parents or siblings have problems with alcohol or drugs, youâre more likely as well. Women and men are equally likely to become addicted.
    • Early drug use. Childrenâs brains are still growing, and drug use can change that. So taking drugs at an early age may make you more likely to get addicted when you get older.
    • Mental disorders. If youâre depressed, have trouble paying attention, or worry constantly, you have a higher chance of addiction. You may turn to drugs as a way to try to feel better. A history of trauma in your life also makes you more likely to have addiction.
    • Troubled relationships. If you grew up with family troubles and arenât close to your parents or siblings, it may raise your chances of addiction.

    Also Check: How Many Addictions Are There

    Know The Facts About Drugs And Their Effects

    At present, more than 7 million Americans suffer from drug addiction to various illicit substances and many more are addicted to prescription drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines. For a 12-month period from 2015 to 2016, 212,000 people aged 12 years old and older have used heroin for the first time. People who are addicted with drugs also have a higher risk of domestic violence incidents, accidents, and unintentional injuries. Alcohol also causes about 16 percent of all car crashes.

    However, theres good news! Substance use disorders or drug addiction is perfectly treatable. Try out drug rehab tourism in places like Clarity Rehab in Thailand in order to have a wellness vacation towards sobriety today

    Effects Of Addiction On The Body

    Beyond just the effect addiction has on the brain, when a person is addicted to drugs and alcohol the entire body is affected too. Drugs and alcoholaffect major organ functions and with prolonged drug or alcohol addiction, permanent effects on vital systems and functions can lead to disability or even early death. The effects of addiction and chemical changes in the body can also carry over to physical changes. The physical effects of addiction are just as difficult as the effects on the brain.

    Read Also: Am I Addicted To Vaping

    The Brain Addiction And Withdrawal

    As a consequence of drug addiction, the brain rewards the harmful behavior. It encourages drug addiction, keeping the individual in a cycle of highs and lows the user may feel like theyre on an emotional roller-coaster, feeling desperation and depression without their substance of abuse. Once someone suddenly stops using, there are harsh mental, physical, and emotional results. Individuals may experience distressing symptoms they cannot ignore for some substances withdrawal symptoms are generally stronger for some substances than others.

    At the point of withdrawal, someone who stops using Heroin experiences intense cravings, depression, anxiety, and sweating. Much of this is due to the rewiring of the brain after extended Heroin use. In this stage, the individual may not have a full-blown addiction a tolerance or dependency may have developed, however. Over time, the high volume of chemicals floods the brain the brain correspondingly adapts to the mental effects of the substance. The brain then reduces its production of neurotransmitters, chemical messengers in the brain. Withdrawal symptoms often need professional treatment, which can significantly help reduce the chance of relapse and the risks of stroke and heart attack.

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    How To Prevent Addiction To Prescribed Painkillers

    What you need to know about cocaine

    Most people who take their pain medicine as directed by their doctor do not become addicted, even if they take the medicine for a long time. Fears about addiction should not prevent you from using narcotics to relieve your pain.

    But if youâve abused drugs or alcohol in the past or have family members who have, you may be at a higher risk.

    To avoid pain medicine addiction:

    • Take the drug exactly as your doctor prescribes.
    • Tell your doctor about any personal or family history of drug abuse or addiction this will help them prescribe the medicines that will work best for you.

    Remember, itâs common for people to develop a tolerance to pain medication and to need higher doses to get the same level of pain relief. This is normal and is not a sign of addiction. With addiction, you may need to use higher doses, but itâs not for pain relief. Still, talk to your doctor if this effect becomes troubling.

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    What Do Drugs Really Do Your Body

    Every time you drink a beer, you smoke a joint, you pop a pill, you take a hit you make a choice. You make an active choice to put substances in your body because, in the heat of the moment, it seems like the right thing to do. It will make you feel better, it will get you high, it will be fun. This is what you tell yourself. But did you know that it is also putting your health in danger?

    We know youve heard it before. Your parents told you that drugs are bad. Your friends told you to stop drinking so much. Maybe a doctor has even said that your drug use has taken a toll. Not to mention, you know hangovers and come-downs quite well. Unfortunately, drug addiction is a persistent thing. It is your brain relentlessly telling you that its okay to take drugs, despite the physical consequences and the terrible aching your body experiences soon after. And it makes you wonder, what do drugs do to your body, exactly? Why do you feel this way, and why cant you stop? What are the risks if you keep using?

    The Consequences Of Addiction: How Do Drugs Affect The Body

    In 2017, about 17% of Americans aged 18-25 battled drug addiction. The use of heroin by that same demographic has doubled in the past ten years.

    While prevention programs seem to lower the risk of substance abuse in young adults, they tend to focus on tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana. Its possible that many teens and young adults arent fully aware of what drugs can do to your body when they abuse them.

    So the question is, how do drugs affect the body?

    Were going to take a look at some of the physical effects of addictive drugs. Whether youre considering trying a drug for the first time or already struggling with addiction, it is important to know all the facts about drug abuse.

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