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Drug Facts: Why Are Drugs So Difficult To Quit?

The simplest drug facts answer is basically that drugs are difficult to quit if the person doing them has the disease of addiction. If, when you try to stop using drugs, you find that you go into withdrawal, develop cravings, and can’t stop obsessing about drugs – you might have a drug addiction problem. Drug addiction is a disease that affects the mind as well as the body, and although drug addiction may not be curable as of yet, it can be treated.

The human brain is the command center, the captain’s cabin if you will, and it controls just about everything a person does. When you introduce drugs to the body and brain, you disrupt the natural chemicals that your brain produces in order for it to function normally. Long periods of use can alter, or change, those chemicals which ultimately can lead to addiction.

Drug Facts: The Brain

Drug abuse affects three primary areas of the brain: the brain stem, the limbic system, and the cerebral cortex.

The brain stem is in charge of the body staying alive – breathing, blood flow, and digestion. The brain stem is also in charge of motor functions. When drugs are abused they can affect how the brain interacts with the body, which could cause short-term and long-term health issues and could lead to death.

The limbic system links multiple brain structures that are in charge of our emotional responses, such as pleasure. These pleasurable feelings give us motivation to repeat whatever behavior is creating this response.  Drugs greatly affect the limbic system because the brain will continuously respond to the pleasure of drugs, and after long-term abuse it will require more and more of the drug to continue to satisfy the craving.

The cerebral cortex, also known as the gray matter, makes up ¾ of the entire brain. It is divided into four lobes which control very specific functions like what we see, feel, hear, taste, think, plan, problem solve, decision making. Drug abuse will interrupt these basic functions and could cause permanent damage.

Drug Facts: Treating Drug Addiction

All of these areas of the brain are affected by drug abuse, and after long-term abuse, the mind and body become dependent. Although the brain may heal after some time in recovery, the disease of addiction does not just go away. The addict will have to continue to work on their program of recovery in order to stay clean and sober long-term. These drug facts mean that they cannot use mind-altering drugs if they wish to stay recovered.

If you find that once you stop using drugs, you can’t stay stopped, you may need help. Recovery from drugs is possible, but there is a process that has been found to be most effective for those who are trying to adopt a drug-free life-long.  This process is known as addiction treatment and it could save your life. Contact us here at The Watershed for more drug facts and information on how you can be treated today.

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