Understanding Addiction and How Addiction Hijacks the Brain

Understanding addiction and how it hijacks the brain is critical when it comes to addiction and it will help your recovery process. It takes a lot of strength and courage to admit to an addiction, whether it is gambling, drugs, sex or alcohol. No matter how powerless or how bad the addiction is, there is help available. No matter if you have tried before and failed, never give up. You make a positive change at any time, and do not have to hit rock bottom first.

When it comes to understanding addiction one can overcome the addiction by learning how to cope in constructive ways as opposed to destructive ways that will not only affect you but also others. Nobody intentionally starts out with the thought of developing an addiction, but there are those that for one reason or the other get caught in the addiction snare.

Statistics reveal that almost one in every ten people is addicted to drugs or alcohol, and more than two thirds that have an addiction abuse alcohol. The top drugs leading to addiction are cocaine, opioids such as pain killers and marijuana. Nowadays researchers are better at understanding addiction and how it hijacks the brain, as the brain under goes serious changes, it begins to recognize pleasure which results in compulsive addictive behaviour.

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Substances that are addictive provide a short cut to the brains reward system which in turn floods the accumbens with dopamine. The hippocampus stores memories of this reward and in turn the amygdala evokes a response to certain stimuli.  Pleasure had a distinct signature as the brain records all pleasure in the same manner by releasing powerful surges of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens.

The use of drugs or alcohol will result in addiction as the substances are directly linked to the speed in which it encourages dopamine release and the intensity and reliability of that release. When it comes to understanding addiction and how it affects the brain, it will make it far easier for one to cope during rehabilitation. Behaviours and addictive substances stimulate the same circuit – which then becomes overloaded.