Addiction The Disease
Addiction is a disease that affects the brain deeply. Those suffering through addiction are typically unable to control certain impulses that are normally there for others. Overtime, addiction begins to affect the brain’s very neurological makeup, changing other factors of the body with it.
One of the best known aspects behind long term substance abuse issues and addiction, are the changes that take place overtime on the brain. These changes sometimes rewire the very makeup of the brain, creating different neurological pathways that then inhibit the addiction further and further. Due to the neuroplasticity of the brain, it can change the person’s brain to further substance abuse issues and addictions.
Slippery Mental State
Like doing a pull-up with sweaty palms, after addiction affects someone over a longer period of time, often times what’s most commonly reported is a feeling of surreality. Many addicts will report feelings of disconnection from reality. Due to the very nature that mind-altering drugs have on the brain, the newly created neural pathways can also affect the way the addict will view life and their surrounds. Many times, this is commonly irreversible.
Having difficulties in memory is one of the most heavily reported effects from addiction issues. The memory center of the brain is often heavily affected from both the addiction in question and the physical substance affecting it. Fortunately, if acted on early enough, long term memory damage can often be reversible and completely avoided in many people.
This video from NIDA explains addiction in simple terms and how quitting drugs is extremely difficult because addiction is a brain disease.
Video: Courtesy, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health.