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It can mean taking too many prescription pills. Drug abuse is when you turn to substances to get a certain feeling: pleasure, escape, relaxation and so on. Drug abuse can be damaging to relationships and the body—but usually, a person can stop if he or she wants to. That is not the case with addiction. Addiction is when you can’t stop using drugs or alcohol, even if you want to stop. Addiction drives you to keep using even if a substance is ruining your health, relationships, and finances. You can’t stop thinking about using the substance you are addicted to no matter what. Why? Because addiction is a disease that changes the brain. Addiction Science: How Drugs Affect the Brain We used to think that willpower alone should be enough to stop an addiction. That just Aetna coverage for Heroin Rehab saying no was the answer, and people who are addicted could just choose to not use. But we know much more about addiction today and the effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain. People don’t choose to stay addicted to a substance—their brain demands the substance and more of it over time. Addiction is a brain disease, and here is how drugs and alcohol change the brain. The brain reacts to pleasure by releasing dopamine into the area of the brain known as the “pleasure center.” (This is technically called the nucleus accumbens .) Addictive substances give the pleasure center big-time rewards—lots of dopamine that immediately satisfy and create a surge of dopamine. Basically, addictive substances short-cut the brain’s pleasure system and make pleasure happen faster and more intensely. The brain gets strong signals and remembers those signals. (This leads us to the learning aspect of addiction.) So, how do we go from liking something to becoming addicted? The brain plays a role in that, too. While dopamine is flooding the pleasure center of the brain, giving us fast rewards for using an addictive substance, that dopamine is also teaching the brain to keep wanting the drug. Dopamine interacts with a neurotransmitter in the brain’s reward-learning system. This is the same system that makes us seek out things that help us survive, such as water. We hunt for http://metroupto2f1.contentteamonline.com/addicted-to-ativan-will-aetna-ppo-cover-my-rehab it because our brain tells us we need it. Using addictive substances can teach the brain to go after the substance—to find it and use it.


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