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Help Drug Addict(s) With Understanding
The Anatomy of an Addicted Person’s Mind
Everyone likes pleasure. We also like to be rewarded. That reward can be in the form of drugs, money, sex, a satisfying walk along a mountain trail, or a satisfying meal. The brain registers pleasure in exactly the same way, no matter the source of that pleasure. The signature of pleasure in the brain is the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is linked to the region of the brain known as the pleasure center. At Elevate we understand that the best way to help drug addict(s) is arming oneself with knowledge.
What Drugs of Abuse Have in Common
Every addictive drug has one thing in common: its ability to cause a powerful surge of dopamine in the brain. The likelihood of addiction depends on how fast the brain car release dopamine. The intensity of that release also plays an important role. The reliability of that release also plays an important role. How a person takes a drug also plays a role in their likelihood of addiction. For example, is the drug inhaled, injected intravenously, or swallowed as a pill?
The Addict’s Mind
For the addict, the prospect of departing from addictive, rewarding, behaviors, is unthinkable. The addict is attached to their addiction just like a person is attached to their beloved. There are no longer any clear boundaries in that person’s mind. They, and their addiction, are one in the same. One cannot live without the other. No one knows any longer where the addict stops and their addiction begins. For the addicted person, stopping may seem a threat to their very existence.
How Their World Changes
The addicted will lose friends, gradually, if not all at once. People care, but an addict’s attitude can be trying. If married, their relationship begins to suffer. Arguments may ensue over finances. Children become targets for their anger, and trust is lost that may never be recovered. Careers are challenged, and promotions may be stalled; that is if the addicted person is able to hold onto their job. Family relationships become tense from a division of who wants to help, and who wants to walk away from it all.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
The shining light at the end of the tunnel is that some, not all, addicts realize that it is time to get their life together. That realization is always the first step toward redemption. There is a lot to live for. One simply has to put it all together. Finding something to live for is a great start. However, make it a cause that is greater than yourself. That way, you will work harder not to disappoint!
Stanford Medicine has a very enlightening article on understanding the addicted mind in order to help drug addict(s).