At some point, people begin to recognize that they need to stop the drugs or alcohol that they’ve been using on a regular basis. Perhaps they see that it’s affecting their life in negative ways. However, sadly, many people simply cannot quit on their own. Usually what happens is the person stops, but within a short period of time, he or she is using again. This article will explore the primary reasons why this is the case and why it’s always best to get outside help in order to finally quit.
Addiction is a disease of the brain. By regularly taking a substance, you can begin to change the brain in significant ways. You might find that over time, you are thinking more about the substance than you are anything else in your life. That is, instead of thinking about your family, career, or the purpose in your life, you’re daydreaming and fantasizing about the next time you can get high. This is one of the ways that addiction can affect the brain. You might also find that even though you want to quit, you keep taking the drug. In fact, one of the most basic definitions of addiction is the inability to stop using a drug even though you know that it’s harming your life.
A simple way of understanding the brain and how it’s affected by addiction is to think of the brain as a control tower. It sends out signals to the body that influence one’s choices, behavior, and feelings. Generally, these signals are for the benefit of one’s health and wellbeing. However, once you begin taking drugs, the chemical signals in the brain change. This can affect your choices, actions, and the way you feel. For some, as the addiction becomes more and more severe, it begins to feel that you need the drug to survive. Because of this, you’ll find that you are taking the drug out of a perceived notion that you need it to survive, despite knowing that the drug is destroying your life.
Also, another significant way in which the brain is changed is the way in which you experience pleasure. Normally, the pleasure center in your brain is activated whenever you eat, fall in love, or experience anything in life that you enjoy. However, after awhile, the substances you are taking begin to slowly hijack this pleasure center. After awhile, the drugs or alcohol becomes the focus of the pleasure center and the substance becomes more important than the other things in your life that once brought you enjoyment.
Lastly, another reason why it can be more and more challenging to quit is the process of tolerance. This is the experience of needing more of the drug in order to produce the same high. At first the high feels great, but sooner or later, you start to feel bad when you’re not using the drug and you need the drug to make yourself feel better.
Although it can be challenging to quit drugs, it can be done. Millions of men and women have gotten sober, but it almost always requires outside help. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, contact a therapist, psychologist, or doctor in your neighborhood for guidance and assistance.
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