Drug addiction is an enduring brain condition that causes people to compulsively pursue substance use. They seek out drugs even if they have detrimental consequences. If you’ve been struggling with substance abuse, you might wonder what causes addiction. From social triggers to the way that chemicals take over your brain, there are many factors that contribute to addiction.
What Causes Addiction: How It Begins
Translated in Latin, the term “addiction” means “enslaved by.” This is appropriate because an addiction leads to a loss of control over your desires and actions. You end up craving a drug and continuing to use it even if you don’t like the way it makes you feel or act.
It’s important to understand that your brain functions through communication between neurons. Your body makes its own chemicals that cause every system to operate in a certain way.
Whether they’re from food, drugs or vitamins, chemicals that you consume can change the way that your brain works. In fact, even though they don’t involve introducing substances into the body, behaviors like shopping and gambling can cause chemicals in the brain to react in a certain way.
In the early 1900s, researchers thought that addiction had to do with willpower. They thought that staying sober involved a test of resolve. Today, experts know that a lack of self-control isn’t the problem. Drugs alter chemical patterns in the brain and can change the brain cells themselves.
What Causes Addiction: Pleasure
You may recognize pleasure as something that feels good or is enjoyable. However, satisfaction goes deeper than an abstract concept. Whether it’s from eating something delicious or taking a psychoactive drug, your mind reacts to all types of pleasure in the same way.
A particular area of the brain releases dopamine in response to a rewarding activity. When the brain releases dopamine more intensely, reliably and quickly, the activity that provoked the release is more likely to cause addiction. Dopamine release may vary based on the chemical used or the way that it’s administered.
Repeated use of a particular drug may prevent your body from releasing its own dopamine when you do things that used to be pleasurable. Without the drug, you may feel depressed, lethargic, and completely out of sorts.
When you need the drug to feel good or to feel normal, you’ve become dependent on it. If you continue to use the drug, you may become addicted.
Although addiction is a chronic problem that may need to be treated for life, you can experience a successful recovery without relapsing. At Serenity Lodge, you can immerse yourself in healing by setting a strong foundation, receiving support for self-exploration and setting up addiction treatment aftercare.
We offer services that allow men to relax and get away from it all so that they can focus on self-care. We have top-of-the-line amenities that cater to your physical and psychological transformation, including:
- Fitness therapy
- A professional recording studio for music therapy
- Movie theater
- Pool and hot tub
- Racquetball and golf
- Nutritional prepared meals therapy