Addiction occurs in your brain and your body is ready for the journey. Everything that affects the brain affects the body because the brain is the control center. When addiction takes hold of your brain, it focuses everything on the pleasure cycle. Each substance has slightly different effects on the brain, but all addictive drugs, such as alcohol, opioids and cocaine, produce a pleasurable surge of the neurotransmitter dopamine in a region of the brain called the basal ganglia; neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit messages between nerve cells.
This area is responsible for controlling reward and our ability to learn based on rewards. As substance use increases, these circuits adapt. They reduce your sensitivity to dopamine, leading to a reduction in a substance's ability to produce euphoria or the “high” that occurs when using it. This is known as tolerance and reflects the way in which the brain maintains balance and adapts to a “new normal”: the frequent presence of the substance.
However, as a result, users often increase the amount of substance they take in order to reach the level of euphoria they are used to. These same circuits control our ability to enjoy ordinary rewards, such as food, sex and social interaction, and when interrupted by substance use, the rest of life can become less and less pleasant for the user when they are not using the substance. Addiction is a complex disease that affects brain function. The part of the brain that causes addiction is called the mesolimbic dopamine pathway.
It's sometimes called a brain reward circuit. Let's take a closer look at the causes of addiction and how this area of the brain is affected. The respiratory system is responsible for supplying oxygen to the body. Both alcohol and drug abuse interfere with this process by depressing or slowing breathing.
When breathing slows down, it can cause respiratory failure that deprives the lungs of essential oxygen. A lack of oxygen can cause brain damage or death. Depending on the medication you choose, you're also at risk of suffocation, asphyxiation, cancer, and other lung diseases. The brain regulates temperature, emotions, decision-making, breathing, and coordination.
This main body organ also affects physical sensations in the body, cravings, compulsions and habits. under the influence of a powerful and harmful chemical substance, people who abuse substances such as benzodiazepines or heroin can alter their brain function.