Substance Abuse: What Made You Do It The First Time?
It did not happen overnight. Did your basketball team win this year’s tournament and you all decided to try it for celebration’s sake? Did you have a big fight with your wife and all you could think of to ease your pain is to try it just once? What is your story? How did it start?
Pleasure is what makes the substance abuse appealing to many. Dopamine, the chemical messenger that creates the feeling of delight, gets activated with substance abuse. While this serves a great state for many, this neurotransmitter is also what makes the person crave for the substance more, eventually creating an addictive behavior.
How Did Your Addiction Start?
Do you still remember how it all started? The human brain starts to develop behavioral and mental changes due to the increased flow of neurotransmitters. Dopamine flooding causes neurons to either make less or more dopamine. Either way, irregular Dopamine levels are fatal.
Low dopamine level causes the addicted person to feel weak, flat, depressed and even agitated. Since the pleasure center is weak, the person feels lifeless. When the situation is like this, the individual will try his best to feel more alive. Sadly, the only option he sees effective is to increase the dopamine level through increasing the drug dosage that gets into the body.
What Factors Affect The Progression Of Addiction?
For decades, neuroscience has proven that the addictive drugs trigger the rewards system of the body thereby releasing dopamine. Through its natural selection design, this neurotransmitter aims to ignite pleasurable behaviors.
While the pleasure center is the highlight of the addictive behavior, there are theories that, more or less, reason out why people get started the substance abuse in the first place.
A person is greatly influenced by the people, places, and things surrounding him. The environmental factors, such as socioeconomic status, play a huge part in addiction. Substance abuse and alcohol dependence are prevalent in poverty-stricken places, although many cases are also recorded in luxurious communities. Peer pressure and exposure to drugs and alcohol are also inviting factors.
The neurological factor that places a huge part in addiction is the reaction of drugs with neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine to the brain. The obvious effect on the brain is it makes an individual want to use drugs repetitively.
Biological makeup causes one to get addicted to the drugs and could also explain why some people get addicted to it, while others choose not to. Biological factors include genes, gender, race, and history of mental illness.
All of these factors lead to the development of detrimental effects not only on the person’s health, but to relationships and responsibilities as well. Eventually, losing friends and neglecting family members will happen.
News about thefts by individuals who are into substance abuse or alcohol dependency always makes headlines. Physical and mental abuses within homes have also been recorded as one of the reasons why children are exposed to drugs. Because of the brain functions that the substance alters, an addict’s judgment of right and wrong are affected.
Don’t try or get immediate help now.