Scientific research has learned more about how the brain is affected by addiction caused by substance abuse. This has made treatment and recovery from drug addiction easier for professionals as it enables them to focus on specific regions of the brain, providing a more concise approach, which can increase the chances of successful recovery and reduce the risk of relapse on the side of the patient.
What Causes Addiction?
While we have a greater understanding of addiction than ever before, it is still complicated. There is no single reason why people experience addiction and many times, it can be numerous factors contributing to addiction.
Commonly, causes include substance use as a coping mechanism following traumatic events, such as violence, abuse, and war.
This is not the only reason for addiction, though. Certain substances, such as cocaine and opioids, are exceptionally addictive. It does not take much exposure and use to become addicted to the effects, especially if proper education and risk prevention are not carried out or considered prior.
Such instances can be linked to the areas of the brain that addiction targets. Primarily, it is the reward function of the brain, which includes memory, motivation, and pleasure. Addictive substances react with this part of the brain and overload the system, providing a euphoric feeling that triggers addiction in individuals.
Not all individuals will experience addiction following substance use, but most will when regularly exposed.
How Can Addiction Affect Your Well-being?
Addiction can impact your well-being both physically and mentally, so it is so important to overcome addiction if you are dependent on harmful substances. Depending on the substance, individuals can encounter physical changes, including extreme weight gain or weight loss. Others can impact your respiratory system, which increases the risk of cancer or other diseases.
There is also mental well-being to consider. Substance abuse can increase the risk of psychological disorders and can trigger depression or bipolar disorder, among others.
It is worth considering the social and professional impact, too. Addiction can affect motivation and performance, meaning you put your job or hobbies at risk, while the financial aspect is another well-being issue to consider.
Because of these factors, finding treatment for addiction and the following recovery is essential.
Which Areas Of The Brain Are Involved In Treatment And Recovery From Addiction?
To ensure reliable and effective recovery from addiction, professionals will target specific areas of the brain. Evidence demonstrates that the brain can recover from substance abuse, so treatment is effective and will lead to recovery. Depending on the substance, the recovery time will vary, yet focusing on specific parts of the brain can help retrain the brain to live without addiction, just as you would retrain other muscles to cope with different physical activities.
The prefrontal cortex is responsible for controlling brain functions, and it is one area of the brain affected by drug and alcohol abuse. Consistent abuse will impact how effective the prefrontal cortex is and therefore, affect behavior and impulse control.
During treatment and recovery, experts will consider how the prefrontal cortex can be remedied to return to a healthy state. By separating the association of drugs and alcohol from general impulse control, the prefrontal cortex can be retrained to better control patient behavior and overcome addiction.
The reward region of the brain contains many separate areas and it contains the part of the brain where dopamine is transported. Drugs and alcohol can trigger over-normal amounts of dopamine and flood the brain with feelings of pleasure, which contributes to addiction.
Treating the reward region occurs through abstinence from the substance. As the brain can use too much dopamine, scans show that dopamine levels in individuals with addiction are lower than average. However, with abstinence and treatment, this will eventually recover, although the time can vary depending on the substance and level of addiction.
Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Evolve Indy has a wide range of treatment plans available for individuals experiencing addiction to drugs or alcohol. We provide an intensive outpatient program to help overcome addiction and a supportive outpatient program that offers patients stability and security following the end of their program. Furthermore, our partial hospitalization system is ideal for patients who may not require long-term care or overnight stays. This demonstrates the inclusive appeal Evolve Indy has to offer.
If you or a loved one is going through addiction, you can learn more about the services we offer and what they entail to find the right service for you by getting in touch with a member of our team today.