Metaphorically speaking, if we think of the body as a vehicle, your brain is always in the driver’s seat. The organ is in charge of regulating everything from involuntary processes, complex emotions, thoughts, and actions. Although your skull protects it, outside factors dramatically affect your cognitive functioning. Particularly, these include how well-nourished you are and the toxins you introduce to your system. If you’ve ever wondered how do drugs affect the brain, the answer is clear: long-term substance abuse causes permanent brain damage. Let’s explore the risks associated with this below.
How Do Drugs Affect The Brain?
How do drugs affect the brain and, overall, how does this impact your lifestyle? Substances such as marijuana, heroin, LSD, opioids, and alcohol are chemicals. When they enter the bloodstream, they distort the way the brain communicates.
For example, substances such as heroin and marijuana mimic natural neurotransmitters, fooling the brain’s usual neurological pathways. Amphetamines and cocaine have a different but equally damaging effect and, instead, amplify these messages.
Generally, it’s difficult to resist most addictive substances because they flood circuits with a naturally occurring chemical called dopamine. Consequently, you’ll experience a feeling of well-being, which will make you want to continue using.
The Effects of Long-Term Drug Use
The brain is a master adapter. Therefore, with the passage of time, it adjusts to heightened dopamine levels from frequent drug abuse. It responds by naturally producing less dopamine and getting rid of excess receptors.
In either case, you become less responsive to dopamine effects, and your ability to feel pleasure decreases significantly. To compensate, you might consume your substance of choice in higher doses to feel the same euphoric effects. Thus, the cycle of escalating physical and psychological addiction begins.
Break the Cycle with Our Help
Now that we’ve answered, “how do drugs affect the brain?”, you might assume brain damage is permanent and that there’s nothing you can do to reverse it. Fortunately, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Overcoming addiction’s physical and psychological effects is a grueling process requiring commitment, hard work, and support. At Steps To Recovery in Levittown, PA, our main priority is helping you maintain a sober, fulfilling life.
Unlike other treatment centers where medical experts use a one-size-fits-all treatment approach, the entire staff at Steps To Recovery focuses on understanding you as a unique individual. This process continues throughout your time with us and even after graduation.
Because everyone is different and your addiction is unique to you, we customize treatment while you undergo effective addiction counseling for lasting change.
Steps to Recovery Main Goal Is Your Sobriety
If you’re feeling hopeless about your addiction, Steps to Recovery may be the lifeline that saves you from drowning. The following is just a sampling of the custom services we provide:
• Expertise and focus on dual diagnoses and LGBTQ issues
• Evidence-based addiction counseling
• Group sessions for learning life skills and coping strategies
• Access to recreation and 12-Step meetings
• Partial hospitalization program
• Intensive outpatient program for reintegration into society
• Sober living houses
At Steps To Recovery, we understand how hard rehab is. Let us walk with you on your journey to a fulfilling, healthy, and sober life. Call us today at 267.719.8528 to begin life-changing, transformative treatment.