Addiction can impact various aspects of a person’s life, including their interpersonal relationships, their body, their mind, and overall health. The most impactful part of addiction is the effect on the brain. The brain is the single most complicated organ in our body. It regulates your body’s basic functions and it allows you to interpret and respond to outside stimulation. Despite the fact that the brain is only about three pounds, issues within the brain can affect one’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
If you need an addiction specialist in Los Angeles, reach out to My Concierge MD in LA today. A complex situation such as addiction requires a specialist who thoroughly understands the process. Our physicians at My Concierge MD focus on unique cases of addiction, providing individuals with a personalized addiction treatment plan. Every case is different, don’t settle for being treated as just another patient.
The Brain’s Reward System
The impact of addiction and drug use on the brain is complex. The chemical compounds found in various drugs, from nicotine and alcohol to opioids, can cause people to lose their impulse control and crave the substance again. This is a fairly quick process as the chemicals enter the brain and the bloodstream almost instantaneously. The major part of the problem is that the drug triggers the brain’s reward system which means the brain craves the substance again, developing an addiction. The problem with the reward system being stimulated in the brain is that the long-term effects of addiction can be very damaging.
Some drugs, like marijuana and heroin have chemical structures that mimic a neurotransmitter that naturally occurs in our bodies. These types of drugs can help fool our receptors, lock into those receptors, and activate certain nerve cells. The activation can be problematic because it sends abnormal messages through the brain causing problems for the brain and body. Drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamines cause the same nerve cells to release excessive amounts of rewarding chemicals. In contrast, this sends exaggerated messages through the brain and body. The exaggerated messages from drugs like this also cause problems with the communication channels in the brain. Both inevitably give the user a “high” which leads the brain to want to repeat it (due to the reward cycle being stimulated), and turns into a long-term cycle of substance use and abuse.
Chasing the High
The brain responds to addiction based on a variety of factors including the type of drug, the amount of the drug used, the frequency of drug use, and family history of addiction or substance abuse. Some drugs create great senses of euphoria in the brain which stimulates the reward system. Drugs interact with the limbic system to release intense emotions that feel good. When the brain’s reward system triggers and experiences pleasure, the intense feelings create a cycle of addiction.
However, the good feelings don’t last forever and the mind and body can become fiercely addicted. There are many people who end up having to take the drug that once made them feel great, to now only feel normal when they take the same or a greater amount. Once the addiction triggers, treatment is likely necessary. Even after treatment, people can be triggered and truly have to focus on maintaining a healthy and sober lifestyle in hopes of avoiding a relapse.
Addiction Specialist in Los Angeles
If you or a loved one feel that they may be experiencing addiction or excessive use of a substance, My Concierge MD can be of great support. The doctors at My Concierge MD specialize in addiction and can be very helpful in understanding the warning signs, the process for recovery, and any other aspect of the process of substance use or abuse. My Concierge MD is an addiction specialist in Los Angeles that focuses on everything from opioid detox to alcohol addiction. In addition, we specialize in outpatient drug and alcohol treatment. We provide a safe space in a comfortable and reliable environment so that patients feel supported. The goal of our specialists at My Concierge MD is to get our patients back on their feet as soon as possible so that they can get back to their normal life and routine.