Individuals who abuse drug and alcohol complicate the job of the brain.
Messages that are sent to and from the brain are blocked when drugs and alcohol become involved.
Particular drugs, mostly opiates - morphine, heroin, Vicodin, Oxycontin - as well as prescription drugs, copy the natural neurotransmitters in the brain.
The messages that are sent in a drug-addicted brain are abnormal and skewed.
Other drugs interfere with the nerve cells in the brain.
These drugs can cause the discharge of excessive or insufficient amounts of chemicals in the brain.
Drugs enter the brain to send out a gush of dopamine is released.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain and is also where the reward system is housed.
The reward system controls pleasure, cognitive, drive and muscle movement.
When the dopamine enters the brain, the result is a sense of exhilaration.
This is how addiction originates.
The individual wants to experience that jubilation again that they once felt with the drugs.
The brain is wired to recall those intense feelings of pleasure so it sends out messages to the phony neurotransmitters that it wants to feel it again.
The phony neurotransmitters are considerably stronger than the natural neurotransmitters, so they are more durable.
Drug abuse causes the brain to develop a reliance on the surplus of dopamine, so the brain begins to be dependent on it.
No drugs mean that the dopamine levels are virtually nil.
This brings about depression, lack of motivation, pain sensitivity and lack of pleasure.
The dopamine levels need to be replenished and the only way to do it is with more drugs.
The user needs additional drugs and this is how a tolerance arises.
The brain is going to go haywire when the drugs stop entering the brain because the natural neurotransmitters are stifled.
Instead, it is adrenaline that pushed through the brain, triggering withdrawal.
There are various stages of withdrawal that an addict experiences on mental, physical and emotional levels.
The level of withdrawal depends on the type of drug and how long it was used.
When an individual decides it's time to quit taking drugs they should always do it with the help of experts.
The reason for this is because experts are trained to assist in safe and medical detox while keeping the patient relaxed and comfortable.
Then they can provide the information and knowledge to maintain abstinence and to make decent life choices.
This is all made possible through St.
Gregory's and can be done in a short, seven-week program through neurotransmitter therapy.
This has proven to be a very successful method of rapid detox.
The physical symptoms associated with the acute stages of withdrawal are the most uncomfortable.
With neurotransmitter therapy, the brain is able to heal much faster.
This therapy precedes post-acute withdrawal, which is when the brain has a tough time simply coping with not having the substance any longer.
Symptoms consist of:
- Increased anxiety
- No energy
- Inability to concentrate
- Lack of enthusiasm
The brain is so powerful that it will continue to remember the euphoria that it felt when it was "high.
" These are the toughest times for those struggling to recover, focusing even more importance on teaching coping skills and how to make healthier life choices.