Monday, June 17, 2024

What Part Of The Brain Does Addiction Affect

How Does Lorazepam Work

How Addiction Affects The Brain

Doctors most often prescribe lorazepam to treat anxiety. Anxiety and some other mental health issues are caused by an excessive amount of nerve activity in the brain. Lorazepam works by stimulating neurotransmitters that reduce the number of anxiety messages traveling across synapses in the brain. When used correctly over a short period of time, lorazepam can be helpful in combating panic attacks and other anxiety symptoms. However the drug also comes with the risk of developing a dependency and addiction. Individuals need to carefully follow prescriptions, include therapy as part of their comprehensive mental health treatment plan, and be aware of how lorazepam and addiction affect the brain.

How The Brain Gets Hooked

Look at the brain as a puzzle with sections and structures and connections. There are three distinct areas of brain: the forebraininner most part midbrainuppermost part and hindbrainupperpart of spinal cord. Each section is made up of structures that are responsible for numerous functions. Well focus on the forebrain and the midbrain.

Why Is Addiction Considered A Brain Disease

The brains of people with addiction are different from those who dont have it. This is something we have known since the 1980s, and further research has only solidified this.

Both the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization consider addiction to be a illness.

Addiction has characteristics that are consistent with other diseases, such as:

  • It is a primary diagnosis that causes other medical issues
  • Addiction is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time.
  • Addiction is chronic. There is no cure for addiction and people have it for life.
  • Childhood trauma can cause changes in the neurological wiring of the brain. Neurological wiring differences impact an individuals ability to cope with stressors, making them more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol.

Once the brain disease model of addiction emerged, therapies were modified to treat the brain, rather than treating addiction as a lack of willpower.

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The Dopamine Pathway Is Not The Yellow Brick Road

Neuroscientists believe that their research is at last going to enable serious progress on this ancient human affliction. The common pathway was a benchmark revelation, in part because it offered a unified framework for studying what for a long time had seemed like a hodgepodge of unrelated behaviors.

Important though it may be for understanding addiction, the dopamine pathway itself does not seem likely to yield promising new medications or other treatments for addiction. The pathway is so essential to normal functioning, to the everyday pleasures of life, and perhaps to learning itself, that it may be nearly impossible to interfere with it successfully. Whatever you do to the dopamine system, you always get more than you bargained for, Caron observes. That’s because of lack of selectivity and our lack of fundamental understanding of which protein of the dopamine system really mediates the addictive behavior.

And although genes seem more and more likely to play a key role in addiction, identifying these genes will not necessarily lead to treatments either. There’s not going to be a single gene that’s defective in people that have more liability to become addicted. You probably can have many, many changes in the brain that will all eventually manifest themselves in addictive personalities, Caron says.

What Do Brain Scans Of Addicted People Show


Though addiction can display itself in many different ways, from physical changes to behavioral responses, brain imaging and scans can also find signs of addiction in the brain itself.

Researchers who study how addiction changes the brain have found clear markers of addiction within brain chemistry and structure. Using technology like magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography scans, medical professionals can see inside the inner workings of the brain, both with an addictive state and without.

These scans show us that several different regions and pathways within the brain are affected by addiction. From an increase in neurotransmitters like dopamine to reduced or increased activity in particular brain regions, addiction has a direct impact on the brains structure, functioning, and health.

  • A 2009 study published in the journal Neuropharmacology used PET scans to show the flow of dopamine to different regions of the brain in individuals who misused drugs. When researchers followed the dopamine through the brain, they found that dopamine levels were lower in parts of the brain that controlled repetitive or risk-taking behavior and decision making. Dopamine also affected areas of the brain that associated drug-taking with pleasure and stimulation, making it more likely the individual would take drugs again.

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How Meth Works In The Brain

The mechanism of action of the drug is similar to other stimulants, in that its consumption results in massive releases of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine that lead to a number of extremely powerful euphoric effects, increases in energy, feelings of invulnerability, and other psychoactive effects. Because the substance is often made with a number of other substances that are potentially toxic, such as antifreeze, battery acid, or drain cleaner, it is both dangerous to use and highly combustible, making it dangerous to manufacture. Research regarding the short-term and long-term effects of methamphetamine use indicates that there are a number of significant potential dangers associated with its use, including significant neurological effects.

Addiction Changes The Brains Chemistry

Good communication is absolutely important, functioning as the major key to coordinate with family members or people from work. Our bodies are no different. Neuron systems deliver messages back and forth within the structures of the spinal cord, nerves and the brain. These complex networks regulate and interpret everything that we feel, see, think and do.

To understand the effect of addiction on the brain system, one must understand how communication works. Communication systems consist of five senses, namely:

  • sight
  • smell

These five senses collect and analyze information around us the brain processes all these.

As a complex organ, the brain receives a massive amount of information. It may sound complex but the brain works on a simple electrochemical process.

The communication system works allowing the brain to interact with the other body parts. Billions of neurons passed the information to the brain. Human brains contain billions of these neurons connections. The massive network builds an electrochemical communication system.

Some neurotransmitters can affect other neurons . They can affect other neurons and produce reactions. Here are some of the neurons found in the brain.

  • Inhibitory neurons prevents the next neuron from sending another reaction.
  • Glutamate the most common excitatory neurotransmitter found in the brain.
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA the most common inhibitory. This plays an important role in addiction.

Drugs and its affected brain system

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How Does Sex Addiction Affect The Brain

by Hired Power | Feb 10, 2017 | Addiction Treatment & Recovery |

It is perfectly natural to have sexual impulses. However, thoughts of sex shouldnt preoccupy a person to such an extent that it gets in the way of their relationship or affects their job or finances. So are there different kinds of sex addiction that can be mapped in the brain? And what kinds of treatments are possible to help an individual with a sex addiction?

Lets first look at how sex can be addictive. The experts dont seem to have reached a consensus on what to call sex addiction, but it is apparent that there are individuals, mainly men, who have difficulty with impulse control when it comes to sex. Apparently there are certain chemicals, i.e. endorphins, released in the brain of such individuals during and immediately after sexual release, which alters their mood. Similar to a drug high, the endorphins stimulate the brains pleasure centers, and this is what can be addictive. Therefore, when an individual repeats the sexual behavior, it triggers the chemical response, altering the brain chemistry, thus needed more of it to feel normal.

There is very little scientific evidence to support any one biological cause leading to sexually compulsive behaviors. The fact is that sex addiction isnt understood nearly as well as drug addiction. But findings show that:

  • Individuals who take stimulants which increase serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain are more prone to hyper sexualized behavior.

Fighting Addiction With Corner Canyon Health Centers

How Does Alcohol Addiction Affect the Brain?

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. Although there is no cure for addiction, there is treatment and hope in 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, 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 center 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.

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Addiction And The Brain

The brain is a very important organ in the human body. The brain adapts to environmental changes and allows us to cope with negative emotions, form memories, and learn. But drug and alcohol addiction can drastically impact how the brain functions. The addicted brain changes both chemically and physiologically.

Addiction can impact the brain on many levels. When a person uses drugs, chemical compounds in stimulants, nicotine, opioids, alcohol, and sedatives enter the brain and bloodstream. Once one of these chemicals enters the brain, it can cause people to lose control of their impulses and/or crave the harmful substance- making them addicted.

Chemical Changes- The Biochemistry of Addiction

Beginning with the chemical changes addiction has on the brain, drugs, and alcohol affect the brains neurotransmitters, which release an excess level of dopamine causing temporary pleasurable feelings and euphoria. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, How Addiction Hijacks the Brain, Dopamine not only contributes to the experience of pleasure but also plays a role in learning and memory two key elements in the transition from liking something to becoming addicted to it.

Introducing The Human Brain

The human brain is the most complex organ in the body. This three-pound mass of gray and white matter sits at the center of all human activityyou need it to drive a car, to enjoy a meal, to breathe, to create an artistic masterpiece, and to enjoy everyday activities. The brain regulates your body’s basic functions, enables you to interpret and respond to everything you experience, and shapes your behavior. In short, your brain is youeverything you think and feel, and who you are.

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What Parts Of The Brain Are Affected By Drug Use

Drugs can alter important brain areas that are necessary for life-sustaining functions and can drive the compulsive drug use that marks addiction. Brain areas affected by drug use include:

Some drugs like opioids also disrupt other parts of the brain, such as the brain stem, which controls basic functions critical to life, including heart rate, breathing, and sleeping. This interference explains why overdoses can cause depressed breathing and death.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction And Your Brain

What alcohol does to your brain

Drug and alcohol use has a tremendous effect on the brain. The brain regulates important life-sustaining functions, like respiration. It also allows you to interpret all the sensory impressions you are constantly picking up, as well as your thoughts and emotions. These factors all influence your behavior.

The limbic system is the part of the brain containing its pleasure center. It controls and regulates the ability to experience pleasure. When activities are pleasurable, we tend to repeat them. This system is stimulated by healthy, positive activities, such as eating, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.

Drugs affect the way the brain normally sends, receives, and processes information. Some drugs activate the pleasure centers in the brain by fooling the brains receptors and attaching onto cells in the brain. They mimic the action of the brains natural chemicals but dont activate the brain in the same manner as its natural neurotransmitters .

When certain addictive drugs are taken, they release multiple times the amount of the brains pleasure chemical as do pleasurable activities, such as eating and sex. If the drug is smoked or injected, these effects are felt almost immediately. They also last longer than the pleasure felt by natural means. This reward is so powerful that it motivates users to repeat the experience, even though subsequent highs may not match the initial experience with the drug.

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Addiction Recovery At Tranquil Shores

Often people come to Tranquil Shores saying they know they have a problem but unsure whether they are addicts or alcoholics. Only after some time with group and individual therapy do some clients finally surrender to their need for help.

While you are in drug and alcohol treatment at Tranquil Shores the clinical therapy is the most valuable piece of our program. An individual is suffering from internal issues and hurts, and self- medicates with drugs and alcohol. Relationships in ones life can sometimes be a contributing factor. That is why we offer group therapy, individual therapy and family therapy. Once a client can navigate through their issues through all the modalities of therapy, the void they have felt can be filled. Healthy habits can be formed for coping with life stresses instead of turning to drugs and alcohol.

Many drug and alcohol treatment programs say they have a Family Therapy component. It is wise to do your homework and see what that looks like. At Tranquil Shores we know family relationships can play a huge role in ones addiction as well as ones recovery. We offer Family group therapy and provide resources for individual family therapy if needed.

It can be the ones you love the most that make for the most completed relationships.

If you think you may have a problem with drugs and/or alcohol, give Tranquil Shores a call. Speak to one of our admission counselors about your concerns and RECLAIM YOUR LIFE!

Rewarding The Brain: How Addictions Develop

The brain regulates temperature, emotion, decision-making, breathing, and coordination. This major organ of the body also impacts physical sensations in the body, cravings, compulsions, and habits. Under the influence of a powerful and harmful chemical, individuals abusing substances like Benzodiazepines or Heroin can alter the function of their brain.

Drugs interact with the limbic system in the brain to release strong feel-good emotions, affecting the individuals body and mind. Individuals continue taking drugs to support the intense feel-good emotions the brain releases this creates a cycle of drug use and intense highs. Eventually, they take the drug just to feel normal.

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Leading The Search For Scientific Solutions

To address all aspects of drug use and its harmful consequences, NIDA’s research program ranges from basic studies of the addicted brain and behavior to clinical strategies and health services research. NIDA’s research program develops prevention and treatment approaches and ensures they work in real-world settings. As part of this goal, NIDA is committed to research that addresses the vulnerabilities and health differences that exist among ethnic minorities or that stem from gender differences.

Today We Will Talk About The Way The Addicted Brain Works To Better Understand What Drug Addiction Does To The Most Important Human Organ On A Physiological Level

How Addiction Affects Your Body and Mind

When you sit down to eat an ice cream sundae, how do you feel? You probably feel happy or excited in anticipation of the yummy treat youre about to devour. This is because your brain recognizes the food as something that brings you pleasure. When youre about to eat an ice cream sundae, your brain releases more dopamine. The same thing happens to a person suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism. This is how the addicted brain works.

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Increased Glutamate Calcium In The Brain

Increases in the neurotransmitter glutamate and calcium are often associated with neurotoxic effects in the brain as a result of the neurons being overly excited and continuing to fire to the point of actually damaging the system. If not modulated, this can result in significant damage throughout the central nervous system.

Dont Wait Until Its Too Late

Although the effects of opioids may be pleasurable, the constant interferences with the brain chemicals over long periods of time can result in a persons brain not being able to adequately produce the needed amount of chemicals for normal functioning. In addition, prolonged opioid abuse can lead to a person having panic attacks, anxiety, and nerve damage whenever the drug is not in their body.

A person who has decided to stop using an opioid drug after abusing the drug for a long time should make sure to get therapy once they stop using. An opioid rehab may be the best choice for an individual to involve themselves in to help them conquer their drug addiction because it includes necessary therapy sessions for a person to attend as well as medical supervision.

the Take-Away

Opioids work by altering and impairing a persons brain chemicals negatively affecting brain function in various ways.

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Lets Walk Through An Example

We take a look at cannabis use as an example. In a 2019 study, researchers found that the gene known as CHRNA2 may determine if someone using marijuana develops a cannabis use disorder or not. Lower than normal levels of the CHRNA2 gene expressed in the cerebellum indicated higher risk of cannabis use disorder.

Science is also getting closer at narrowing in on the genes that may lead to other types of addiction, like alcohol abuse disorder. In 2019, scientists announced that they had determined at least 566 variants within more than 400 locations within the human genome that influence addiction. In other words, science is helping us narrow down clusters of genes and their impacts on the brain that may cause addiction.

The big takeaway here is that its not necessarily a simple matter of choice or morality that triggers addiction. What youre struggling with is a disease that is greatly influenced by your own genes.

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