Brain and Addiction

What Role Does The Brain’s Pleasure Center Play In An Addiction?

One of the roughest problems in this world is addiction. There are millions of people who struggle with some kind of substance abuse disorder or addiction. It doesn’t stop there because people are beginning addictive lifestyles every day. In all truth, this isn’t a new issue at all. Addictions have been part of society for many centuries. It is certain that addictions have become more of a problem since more substances continue to be made and created for prescriptions as well. There are both illegal and legal drugs which are causing such an epidemic. No matter which drug you are addicted to, help is out there for you.

 With the length of time addictions have been a problem, many things have been done to try addressing the problem. Throughout time, many studies have been done and research has been brought together. Many trials have also been done. The purpose of all this is to try to form better systems and treatment methods for addictions. Elite Rehab Placement has many treatment options. Some of the studies, research and trials have helped to form new methods of treatment. However, there is still no universal way to handle an addiction and probably never will be. The studies and research have helped professionals to understand addiction better, though. One of the biggest factors is the brain functioning and how addiction affects that. Harmful substances affect the brain’s pleasure center.

What Should Be Known About How Addiction Affects The Brain?

The brain’s pleasure center was discovered during 1954. The origination of this finding was during rat studies. It was found some rats would develop an addiction to pushing levers when their NAcc or nucleus accumbens was stimulated. The stimulation was done by placing electrodes on the rat’s brain in the septal area. In simpler explanation, stimulating some parts of the brain would trigger a release of dopamine in one’s NAcc. Alcohol, drugs, other addictive substances would release the dopamine in this area of the brain as well. Pleasurable activities, such as gambling and sex, would do the same thing. So, if someone were addicted to cocaine or gambling, the pleasure center of the brain would be activated.

 When someone consumes drugs, the production of dopamine throughout their brain rises significantly. This causes them to feel really good. That feeling can cause them to use harmful substances over and over again. This pattern following behavior is known as reward seeking which basically means if something feels good for the body or gives a reward, you would want to keep doing that. In some situations, this could be a positive thing for your life. However, that certainly isn’t the case with addictions and the brain. This type of behavior can lead to dangerous use of alcohol and drugs. If you have been following that reward seeking behavior, now might be the best time to get help for your addiction. It can be tough to stop seeking drugs or alcohol, but treatment can help a great deal.

How Can Having A Better Understanding Of The Brain’s Pleasure Center Help With Addressing Addictions?

In the past, it was more difficult to figure out the brain’s inner workings. However, new technology has brought more knowledge on this subject. Jonathan Britt, a doctor, figured out how to use a brain imaging technique, optogenetics, in determining if reward seeking was causing negative or positive effects. Dr. Britt also determined inputs which were connected to addiction and pleasure in various areas of the brain. This means he determined how the NAcc was sending dopamine signals throughout the stimuli from environmental triggers. He figured out those signals depended on chemicals in one’s brain known as Glutamate. This chemical basically hooks up neurons that operate together. If the scientists could determine how exactly these types of neurochemicals bind the networks, they could get a better understanding of the damage addictions cause on the brain. This could improve the treatments available for addiction as well.

 It can be extremely difficult to have an addiction, but you can overcome it. Whether you are addicted to alcohol, prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines or any other type of drug, the struggle is there. Rehab center professionals are here to help you work through triggers, overcome cravings, detox from harmful substances and recover from the addiction. There are many types of addiction treatment available. Some of these treatments include inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. There are also many amenities in rehab which could help you. Some of these amenities include yoga, massage therapy, nutritional therapy, acupuncture and more. Every addiction is different from the next and rehab centers know that. Customized addiction treatment is available, so call right away to get help to head down the road to recovery.