Addiction to drugs and alcohol changes the chemistry of the brain by altering the circuitry that facilitates communication between one part of the brain to another.
When drugs and alcohol metabolize in the bloodstream, they make their way through the liver and then toward the brain, crossing what is called the blood-brain barrier. Entering the brain, mind-altering substances influence the hyperproduction of a brain chemical called dopamine, which acts as a messenger system for the experience of pleasure, throughout the brain.
Pleasure is an important part of the human experience.
Biochemically, pleasure triggers the activity of parts of the brain which communicate and store memories, create learning, and build associations in the mind which influence how we operate through our daily lives. One of the main areas of pleasure affects is the reward center of the brain, located in the nucleus acumen. A reward is a strong force in our learning and memory creation. The brain likes pleasure and likes being rewarded with things that create pleasure. Euphoric sensations created by drugs and alcohol are pleasurable and our brain recognizes that the consumption of drugs and alcohol leads to the reward of a pleasurable experience. When our brain craves a pleasurable reward, a small memory association is made that drugs and alcohol can be a provider of that sensation. As addiction takes hold and substances are consumed in greater quantities more often, the association becomes greater until the only thing the brain can think of is experiencing pleasurable rewards; and, the only pleasurable rewards the brain can think of are drugs and alcohol.
Having fun in sobriety directly impacts these programmed neural pathways in the brain and rewires them.
Every time we can have a rewarding or pleasurable experience in sobriety, we bring our brain one step further away from the associations of drugs and alcohol. Our experiences in sobriety dictate our brain structure and our brain structure dictates how we get to function. The more fun we can have sober, the more we can change the way our brain thinks about having fun sober- the easier it becomes, the more fun we have, and the better memories we can build.
Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance abuse, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.
For information on our programs,
call us today: 561-841-1296.