People of all socioeconomic backgrounds and areas of life are impacted by drug usage. Whatever the initial motivation for drug use—whether recreationally or as directed by a doctor—the development of tolerance, patterns of increasing use, physical dependence, and addiction may occur— even before the user is aware of it.

Identifying someone you know who has a problem with addiction might be more challenging. Someone who is addicted will yearn for drugs or other behaviors. They frequently overlook other aspects of life to satisfy or support their desires. The brain’s reward, motivation, and memory processes are all impacted by addiction, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

In this article, we’ll discuss addiction’s impact on the brain, the behavioral signs of addiction, and how to know when it is time to find help for drug abuse.

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Addiction’s Impact on the Brain 

The effects of addiction on the brain are complex. When stimulants, nicotine, opiates, alcohol, and sedatives are used, their chemical components reach the brain and circulation. Once a toxin gets into the brain, it can make people impulsive or want dangerous substances.

The most intricate organ in the human body is the brain. It is a three-pound mass of grey and white matter where all human activity occurs. The brain is composed of several linked circuits that function as a team. Different brain circuits are in charge of coordinating and carrying out particular tasks. 

The spinal cord, various regions of the brain, and the rest of the body’s nerves are all connected by networks of neurons that exchange messages (the peripheral nervous system). Drugs affect how neurons use neurotransmitters to send, receive, and process messages. 

Because some drugs, like heroin and marijuana, have molecular structures similar to those of natural neurotransmitters, they can activate neurons. This enables the medications to bind to and stimulate the neurons. 

Even though these pharmaceuticals imitate the brain’s natural chemicals, they don’t stimulate neurons in the same manner that a natural neurotransmitter does, which results in the network sending incorrect messages.

What are the Behavioral Signs of Addiction?

Some indicators might indicate whether you or a loved one may be abusing drugs or alcohol. Addiction is generally characterized by the following:

  • Lack of control or inability to refrain from a substance or action 
  • Reduced socialization, such as breaking relationships or obligations
  • Ignoring danger concerns, such as sharing needles despite possible repercussions
  • Physical side-effects, such as withdrawal symptoms or the requirement for a greater dosage to produce an effect.

Physical Signs of Addiction

Physical signs of addiction include: 

  • Having bloodshot or cloudy eyes
  • Pupils that are dilated or constricted
  • Abrupt fluctuations in weight
  • Alterations in hygiene
  • Dental problems
  • Skin alterations
  • Sleep issues or excessive sleep.

Behavioral Signs

Problematic drug use is occasionally connected with behavioral changes like the ones listed below: 

  • Heightened hostility or irritation.
  • Alterations in personality or attitude.
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Abrupt changes to a social network
  • Drastic adjustments to routines or priorities
  • Participation in criminal conduct
  • Increased secrecy, such as lying about how much was consumed or how long was spent

Addicts frequently surround themselves with others who support their behaviors. When confronted, they can try to defend their actions by offering you justifications. Over time, you could feel more alienated.

Drug usage can potentially be fatal and may have devastating effects on the body and the brain. If you or your loved one is experiencing any of these signs, it is best to get help to avoid more fatal consequences. It’s crucial to get treatment as soon as you recognize that you or someone you love is struggling. Admitting you require drug abuse therapy can save your life; thus, there is no shame in doing so.

 At Total RMH, our approach focuses on the brain and body to bring the desired transformation. Our mission has always been to provide adequate recovery alternatives and safe, doctor-guided programs and allow you to live a free life. Our services are efficient, quick, and discreet, with a long-term focus that encompasses nutritional treatment, life coaching, and other support systems.

How to Know When It Is Time to Find Help for Drug Abuse?

Studies show that 8.6% of people in the population require treatment for a drug or alcohol issue. However, fewer of these individuals obtain care. 

Many people wait until their addiction has negatively impacted their lives almost irreparable before speaking to a therapist, whether it be out of shame, the conviction that their drug use isn’t “that terrible,” or for any other reason. It’s time to get aid if you show any or all of the symptoms above.To start your recovery journey, contact us at Total RMH or call 866-662-8763. Total RMH provides comprehensive addiction treatment in Los Angeles. You can also review our website to view our treatment approach, rebuild your life and begin your journey into a transformed life.