Rarely do we realize that all our beliefs, perceptions, and behaviors are gradually hardwired into our brains. Certain brain structures play an important role in the genesis of addictive behavior and are encoded in our brains as well. The following is an attempt to simplify and understand the biology of addiction. Beat addictive behaviors is a great challenge, and the knowledge you gain from this article is essential to your success!
If one were to list all the things that could be addictive, they would mostly be rewarding experiences. Drinking alcohol, cocaine, caffeine, nicotine, liking social networks, taking PUBG head shots, kissing in BF1 and killing in PUBG are all addictive behavior. All rewarding behaviors follow a common path towards addiction and dependence, despite the fact that they have different mechanisms of action and effects. Exercise, reading, and other “positive addictions” also apply.
Anything rewarding has the potential to become addictive. Adolescents are commonly exposed to novel rewards and drugs of abuse during adolescence. As the brain receives rewards, it alters itself to keep receiving them. It’s common for drug addicts or tech addicts to believe they control their lives, but in reality they rarely do. The brain changes its neural networks and changes gene expression so that it is nearly impossible for humans to refrain from re-engaging in addictive behavior after subsequent rewards!
Three stages of addictive behavior can be distinguished
The intoxicating effect of a substance is achieved by engaging it (e.g., playing a computer game or liking an image).
The withdrawal state occurs after an activity involving high content or pleasure.
Preoccupation – A strong desire to enjoy pleasures such as drugs or pleasure activities.
Intoxication causes the nucleus accumbens (a reward center in the brain) to fill with dopamine (the pleasure hormone), giving users an intense pleasure experience as a result of being “high.” A second dopamine rush, induced by the orbitofrontal cortex (normally responsible for civil behavior), is now the motivation for obtaining more of the drug (or more points in the video game). We have all witnessed people drink until they pass out and repeatedly refresh their pages for hours on end.
Lows follow highs. It also depletes levels of dopamine in the body, exhausting its user’s feelings of pleasure as soon as the drug leaves the body. You remember those hangovers or the time your picture wasn’t liked?
In response to seeing or hearing someone smoking or liking a picture, the user will experience another rapid rise in dopamine levels several weeks after the negative affect stage is over. The drug is once again marketed in a way that causes a desire for purchase and use. This stage is characterized by preoccupation. For addicted individuals, finding a high is difficult since anticipation and preoccupation release more dopamine than drug use, resulting in a never-ending quest for pleasure.
The phenomenon is biological
In the insula (habits of overeating, craving cocaine, and smoking), brain regions associated with bodily sensations are linked to drug acquisition and use.
We all remember how it felt the first time we smoked a cigarette, or drank our first drink, or smelled the magic green. This often leads to frustration and disappointment when people conduct these searches.
The cycle of addiction must be recognized by those who are trapped in it. Awareness may be the first step in waging war against addictions. Taking proactive measures directed at disrupting this cycle will be the key to breaking it.