You’ve seen the old commercials, and you’ve heard the saying that never really gets old… “This is your brain on drugs.” While the line is clever and even a tad funny, the message is extremely serious. What happens to your brain while you are taking certain drugs is something that should make you want to quit doing drugs or drinking alcohol for good.
People have stated before that drugs turn your brain to mush — that is not too much of an exaggeration. The Pennsylvania addiction treatment center at Silver Pines Treatment center is here to help you with your addiction. So if you are suffering from drug or alcohol dependency, call us today. Below, we discuss how your brain reacts to certain drugs. If you have any further questions, we are here to help.
How Drugs Really Do Affect Your Brain
Drugs: The Brain’s Ultimate Reward
It’s mind-blowing what our brains get attached to. We can fixate on clothes, money, TV shows, relationships, our jobs, even phobias. But why do we fixate on these things? Because once we have developed a pattern, then our brain is conditioning to not just attaching to something, but also getting it.
In the case of drugs, the brain gets attached to dopamine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates feelings of excitement, pleasure, happiness, or even the feeling of having a good time. When a drug triggers that feeling over and again, the brain becomes accustomed to the feeling. Pretty soon, the brain wants to feel that stimulation weekly, then daily, then hourly, and so on. Eventually, the brain starts to depend on that feeling to function. That is how we got the term dependency.
Different drugs affect the brain in different ways. Marijuana, nicotine, opioids, cocaine, mushrooms, and heroin have a wide range of effects on the brain, including:
- Impaired thinking
- Memory loss
- Impaired dopamine release
- Mood alteration
- Loss of motor skills or auto functions
- Reduced gray matter and personality alteration
Treatment for Drug Addiction
Once you seek treatment for your dependency, you start to notice how your brain starts returning to normal. At first, this return to normalcy can be quite intense and even medically severe. It is known as withdrawal. As your brain starts to pull away from the addiction, the dependency grows less, and the brain function begins to improve partially or all the way.
Silver Pines provides a wide range of treatments that help you to graduate away from drug addiction and return to sobriety slowly. Some of these services include: