It is important for one to understand addiction and how addiction manifests in your life. Have you ever stopped to think about substances like alcohol, tobacco or drugs that draw people back time and again, even in spite of them knowing how harmful these substances are? To help you understand why people become addicted to certain behaviours and substances, let’s start with the brain.

The powerhouse of a body is the brain, which makes you who you really are. Without as brain we do not exist, and we are nothing. There are many things we do that damages or hurts the brain such as using harmful chemical substances. When you finally see that, it will show you the first step you need to take to understand addiction. However, in spite of education programs teaching us the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs, it is still unclear as to what actually causes addictions.

To help you understand addiction is, the brain has a reward pathway. For example you feel happy when you do a good deed, or eat something you really like. The brain releases dopamine, epinephrine, oxytocin and serotonin into the brains reward pathway which are pleasure chemicals. These chemicals make you feel great and make you want to repeat that activity or behaviour.

Guess what – these same chemicals are released when you are drinking alcohol or taking harmful drugs. However, these chemicals are not being released naturally and cause the brain to become overloaded. When you start using substances which the brain is not familiar with it will make you feel ill, shocked or excited. The presence of these extra chemicals long term will begin to reshape and rewire the structure of the brain.

As this takes place, new negative ideas, impulses and tendencies arise and the brain will start demanding and craving more and more of what you have started feeding it. The more you feed it; the brain will build up a tolerance and dependency to a point where you will need to take substances more often in order to just feel normal. When a negative situation arises, the brain is trained to see and understand addiction as an escape or solution. This is how addiction starts, which will take over your life.