Drug addiction is a substance abuse disorder. Many people who have directly witnessed this in family, friends or even work colleagues, understand the many challenges that people struggling with addiction face on a daily basis. Although we have a much better understanding of how addiction works in our brains than we did 20 years ago, the fact remains that there is much that we still don’t understand.

When seeing someone we know suffer from addiction, and their life unraveling around them, we can’t help but not understand how they can let themselves reach such a devastating bottom, how they could cut themselves off from all reality and loved ones, and seemingly they act as though they do not care.

We cannot understand this because we are not experiencing what they are experiencing. But this is not a matter, if they care or not. It’s a matter of drugs taken and the neurological effect on their brain.

How the Brain Changes Due to Drugs and Addiction

From birth, humans are programmed to seek pleasure. Dopamine is a chemical released in the brain when we engage in certain activities that allow us to experience pleasure. Because addiction hijacks the brain. It makes a person’s brain believe that substances are essential for survival. More essential than food, shelter, or even relationships. A healthy brain rewards healthy behaviors, like exercising, eating or spending time with loved ones. However, the brain’s reward circuitry becomes hijacked by addiction.

Drugs release rapid, and large, amounts of dopamine into the brain.

These massive doses dwarf our ability to obtain dopamine from smaller, healthier sources. Simultaneously, addiction seizes your danger-sensing circuitry. Suddenly, you feel anxious and stressed when you’re not using drugs.

Even after you quit, your brain and body’s memory of drug use is strong. That means it can take a while to find joy in everyday pleasures.

What You Can Do to Feel Better

Does this mean you simply wait around for your brain to heal itself? Not at all. You can do things that will help your brain remember how to find satisfaction and enjoyment in life’s little things. Even if you feel down, try to push yourself by doing activities you used to love before you started using drugs:

  • Surround yourself with friends you can trust and enjoy their company.
  • Laugh while watching your favorite comedy movies or marathoning a great TV series.
  • Take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals and exercising.
  • Get outside and enjoy nature or simply slow down and breathe.
  • Practice gratitude, such as listing five things you’re grateful for each morning.

You Are Not Alone

When unhappiness tries to drag you down and make you question your recovery journey, remember a substance-free life is worth fighting for. If you’re tired of battling addiction on your own, Can-Am Interventions can help. Can-Am specializes in addiction recovery and can formulate a treatment plan that is specifically catered to your recovery.

For More Information:

E: patti.pike@canaminterventions.com W: www.canaminterventions.com

1-800-638-1812 Toll Free Internationally 415-827-3725 Cell /Text 415-578-2875 Office

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