Addiction is clinically known as a brain disease with social behaviour problems.
As an abuser or addict uses more and more drugs, the brain adjusts to the surges in neurotransmitters (dopamine) by producing less neuron transmitters or by reducing the number of receptors that can receive and transmit signals. (Similar to turning down the volume on a TV that is too loud).
As a result, neuron-transmitter’s impact on the reward circuit of a drug abusers’ brain can become abnormally low and the ability to experience any pleasure is reduced. This is why the abuser eventually feels flat, lifeless and depressed. They are unable to enjoy things that previously brought them pleasure. They then start to take drugs just to feel normal again. This is better known as tolerance.
Why a brain disease?
Drug abuse causes major damage to the following 3 areas in the brain:
• The Frontal Lobe – (your reasoning & brakes)
• The Dopamine Cell – (your pleasure & survival)
• The Control Centre of feelings and emotions
Like many prescription drugs, illegal drugs come with potentially harmful side effects that can have serious short and long-term effects on your health.
High dosages of many of the drugs, or impure or more dangerous substitutes for these drugs, can cause immediate life-threatening health problems such as heart attack, respiratory failure and coma.
Combining drugs with each other or with alcohol is especially dangerous.