Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Science of Addiction

The Science Behind the Brain and Addiction Relationship Pennsylvania

Scientifically-based research on the brain and addiction relationship has demonstrated to us that drugs, alcohol and specific behaviors have a significant impact on the reward center located in the brain. Levels relating to certain neurotransmitters, send messages to the brain. These neurotransmitters include serotonin and dopamine. Chronic use of drugs and alcohol tends to over-stimulate the brain until it must depend upon substances and behaviors to produce the needed chemicals. This chemical dependency is what leads to tolerance and addiction.

Most people believe that drug addiction Pennsylvania lies in the additional use of drugs or alcohol when it truly is related to chemical imbalances in the brain and the compulsion to use, regardless of the consequences. In light of all of this scientific research, we still find professionals who adopt the philosophy that addiction is due to a lack of willpower and/or moral imperfections.

Brain Chemistry and Addiction

Most individuals suffering from addiction use drugs or alcohol to feel "good" or to self-medicate physical or emotional pain. Substance use and addictive behaviors stimulate and increase the brain's production and use of REWARD chemicals such as dopamine. Depending on the dose of the drug, the brain accepts neurotransmitters that are significantly more intense than they would experience during the "natural" highs produced by the brain normally. In basic terms, this is why addiction takes place physically and emotionally.

Addiction Alters the Brain

Over time, the continued use of a drug alters the way the brain functions. A person's brain becomes dependent on receiving the substance. These changes in brain chemistry create the addiction and create the tolerance, withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The only "good" part regarding drug addiction Pennsylvania is the disease is treatable and recovery is possible.

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