What Science Tells Us About Addiction

Addiction is a disease. Despite what some people believe, it’s nearly impossible to quit “cold turkey” independently. When you look at the facts, there is a direct link between science and addiction.

Drug or alcohol addiction is characterized by a compulsive drive to seek and use substances. It also causes molecular and neurochemical changes in the brain. Just like other diseases, addiction can be detrimental to the functioning of the body’s organs. It also increases the likelihood of contracting diseases such as hepatitis or HIV. At Atlanta Detox Center, we offer treatment and detox programs to help you overcome your addiction.

Science and Addiction: Where Addiction Comes From

Drug addiction usually happens as a result of drug dependence. This complicated illness begins with taking substances. Over time, a person’s ability to not take substances is compromised due to the effects of drug use on their behavior and brain function if they do not seek help from a drug addiction treatment program.

Science and Addiction: The Brain’s Reward Center

Certain parts of your brain are in charge of specific functions, and it is vital to understand the reward pathway and how it is affected by drugs. The reward pathway involves the ventral tegmental area, the prefrontal cortex, and the nucleus accumbens.

For example, when someone uses cocaine, it goes to the brain through the bloodstream, whether smoked, snorted, or injected. It reaches all parts of the brain, but the euphoric sensation that it gives originates in the brain’s reward center areas, confirming the need for a cocaine detox center.

Science and Addiction: Neurotransmission

One of the most important addiction facts you should know concerns neurotransmission. The information in the brain is communicated through this process, and it involves neurotransmitters, which are chemical substances. One of the most important neurotransmitters is dopamine. In the normal functioning of this system, dopamine is released, and then it binds with receptors.

But when drugs are used, this communication process is interrupted. For example, cocaine blocks the removal of dopamine by binding it to transporters. This causes a dopamine buildup. Therefore, the user is constantly stimulated by euphoric feelings.

Short-Term and Long-Term Drug Use

If somebody used drugs for a short while, its effects on the brain might be small. However, long-term drug use changes the brain in many ways, and you may need to seek help from a drug addiction treatment program.

For instance, substance abuse strengthens the memory circuits that are linked to taking drugs. It doesn’t matter if a person has been drug-free for two weeks or two years. It also associates cues like your favorite bars, other drug-using friends, or stressful situations with doing drugs. This association has a more lasting impact on the brain.

The Risk Factors of Addiction According to Science

The relationship between science and addiction has developed over a very long period. Science has come up with addiction facts that include identifying the risk and protective factors concerning drug abuse. Risk factors increase one’s likelihood to suffer from drug abuse, while protective factors reduce its risk. The risk factors include:

  • Lack of parental care and supervision
  • Poverty
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Drug availability

Protective factors that help people deal more effectively with stressful events include:

  • Parenting care and monitoring
  • Academic competence
  • Self-control

Risk and protective factors can affect a person in many ways. For example, the more risk factors a child is exposed to, the more likely they are to suffer from drug abuse at some point in their life. Some risk factors are also more powerful than others, especially peer pressure for teenagers.

Discover More Today About the Link Between Science and Addiction

Knowing these addiction facts is crucial because understanding your brain’s role in addiction will help reduce all its negative perceptions. Thankfully, the relationship between science and addiction shows that addiction can be managed. If you’re in Georgia and want to get admitted to an effective residential addiction treatment program, our professional staff can help you through the recovery process. Contact Atlanta Detox Center today by either calling 833.631.0534 or completing the user-friendly online form for more information.

atlanta detox center logo At the Atlanta Detox Center, we help you take the first step to recovery from addiction. Our drug and alcohol detox programs provide around-the-clock care to help each individual begin the path to real, lasting recovery. Learn more about our Georgia detox center by visiting us at our website.