Have you ever wondered why there is usually a considerable change in behavior in an individual who abuses drugs or is an addict? The simple answer is that the drugs cause a change in the normal working of the brain since it controls the entire nervous system.
Different drugs will affect the brain in different ways, but they all disrupt behavior in one common way; they target the pleasure or reward system of the brain.
Continue reading to learn more about the neurobiology of substance use.
How Drugs Affect the Nervous System
The nervous system consists of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The system also includes a network of nerves serving as the brain’s chemical and electrical pathways.
Generally, they collect sensory input from the environment, process it, try to make sense of it, and then induce an appropriate action. The overall output is what is seen as behavior that a normal human brain can control and decide what behavior to portray and what not to.
However, when an individual uses drugs, it disrupts the normal working of the nervous system.
The transmission and processing of messages in the nervous system either slow down or speeds up, compromising the brain’s ability to function correctly. In severe cases of drug abuse and addiction, there might be nerve and tissue damage to the brain.
The chemical composition of drugs and how they interact with the brain’s neurobiology changes a person’s behavior. For example, stimulants affect the nervous system, making people more aggressive, while depressants may cause psychosis.
Mental health professionals know precisely how drugs affect the brain’s nervous systems, so they’re the best at handling substance use cases.
You can visit https://www.americasrehabcampuses.com/ to contact professional caregivers and receive support for drug and substance abuse-related problems.
How Drugs Affect Neurotransmitters Resulting in Change in Behavior
Neurotransmitters serve as messengers that enable the transfer of chemical signals from one nerve to the other. Most drugs tend to induce the release of dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain. It’s a feel-good hormone that releases pleasurable feelings.
It explains why addicts usually cannot control their drug-indulging behavior despite the adverse effects it causes them. It may even cause an individual to lose interest in other activities like sex, work, or social interaction because they feel only good when experiencing a high.
In addition, when the person isn’t using, they may experience another surge of stress neurotransmitters like cortisol or epinephrine. It leads to the development of withdrawal symptoms which can make the person feel and act moody, irritated, and distressed.
It motivates the individual to escape distressed by indulging in drugs even more. The result is a never-ending cycle of substance use disorder which they can’t break from without help.
Is It Possible to Change the Neurobiology of an Affected Individual to Stop Drug Use?
Yes, it’s possible. It involves using professionals like psychologists and psychiatrists who combine psychotherapy and medication to treat addictions.
They understand how different drugs’ chemical properties interact with the brain’s neurobiology and can implement effective treatment plans.