There are many myths related to addiction. Studies concerning addiction were made through the years in an attempt to curb and completely eradicate addiction. Psychiatrists and psychologists extended their addiction research into a person’s brain to see how it works. Even the government has fought this menace but seemed futile.
Understanding how the addicted brain works and changes may help society see a brighter future. And to make it work, full scientific knowledge of how the human brain interacts when addicted needs to be delved into.
Several treatments and clinical programs were developed over the years. Each one aims to help find a lasting cure for addiction.
Mistaken Reward System
The brain is an expert reward detector. An addicted brain mastered prioritizing the reward of using drugs. Therefore, addiction is an irresistible repetition of satisfaction or “reward,” even though the consequences are life-threatening. The essential compensation in the old days is on a subconscious level. It sends humans to look for survival opportunities – food and sex, shopping, drugs, and smartphones, to name a few.
Addiction and hunger for drugs are complicated because of the exchange of chemicals in the brain. The dopamine neuron transfer is now in the heart of the human mind; it transmits chemical messages, signals, and synapses responsible for reward-seeking attitudes. It becomes an essential factor in neuroplastic change during dopamine use.
The human brain is a collection of massive neurons ranging from 10 billion to 10 trillion. It can communicate with other neurons in a specific and intricate way. Therefore, the process of communication happening in the brain is called synaptic transmission. In other words, whatever is in mind interprets the “you,” what you think and feel, and the “who are you.”
The brain is one crucial body organ that controls emotions, temperature, breathing, coordination, and decision-making. But under the influence of harmful chemicals, it can alter the primary function, which is to think right. The brain gives rewards when something brings pleasure. One good example is when a person continues to take drugs; the brain releases feel-good emotions, creating a drug abuse cycle.
Addiction can be a compulsive habit that forms around anything that will give pleasure to the body and mind. It includes a neuroplastic change inside the brain. Computer games, Facebook, pornography, and drugs create sensitized feelings about life experiences or substances that the body desires.
After a person goes through the sensitized feeling, the feel-good transmitter discharges into the brain. People under the influence of drugs also experience the sensitized feeling of joy and euphoria. A shot of dopamine makes the person happy and now becomes essential to neuroplasticity, which boosts behavior.
Substance addiction is not the only form of addiction. The conventional assumption that substances or drugs are the sole cause of addiction is now just a belief, a myth. Behavioral addiction is slowly becoming known and accepted. Examples of behavioral addiction are gambling, risky sex, food, the internet, mobile devices, and shopping.
Psychiatric facilities and establishments now embraced the concept that addiction is feasible without the ingestion of an addicting substance. Researchers now try to resolve what behaviors pass as a behavioral addiction. Another unofficial list of behavioral addictions is internet gaming and kleptomania, and they prove to be worthy of more study by researchers.
Psychiatry is a sub-specialty in medicine that helps evaluate, check, and treat complex brain disorders. It delves into brain problems emerging from abuse and addiction to substance and non-substance forms.
Craving for substances and non-substances is a sign of addiction. The brain chemicals called dopamine transmit signals across synapses and are liable for granting reward-seeking behavior. And, therefore, a must for neuroplastic change.
Dopamine alters the control of movement. And scientists acknowledge its pull of stimulus to reward the body, and its surge produces anticipatory dopamine. The mind is an expert when it comes to detecting rewards. It can quickly classify and seek compensation, mostly if the activity poses a risk or danger to the body.