How Drug Abuse Changes Brain Function
In order to truly understand an addict and what makes them tick, you have to understand that drug abuse changes brain function. Understand that the next “high” shapes behavior and this is a different person because drug addiction changes who you are. Take a look at a day in the life of an addict to get a glimpse as to why you don’t know this person anymore.
If you’re worried about a loved one suffering from addiction, call Recovery Hope Treatment today at 614-502-6247 to get them the help they need. We’ll help find a rehab facility so they can learn how drug abuse changes brain function and what can be done to combat it. Recovery is possible, and you can help get a loved one started in that direction.
A Day in the Life of an Addict
Imagine if we were to walk through a day in the life of someone who is suffering from addiction and how they feel throughout the day. You wake up from your bed feeling as though you have barely slept. But you’ve been asleep for 10 hours. Rubbing your eyes while waking, you stand up and realize you’re covered in sweat and feel nauseous. Your muscles ache, you’re shivering and shaking. These are withdrawal symptoms hitting you after not having the drug for a night of rest. You immediately begin to think about the drug, how badly you want it, how soon you can have it. So, you take the drug and quickly feel so much better. However, let’s say that was the last bit of the drug you had. You may eat breakfast and shower, but soon the feeling of euphoria is fading.
Your mind whispers to you that you need to get more and fast. You need it so desperately. You are starting to feel panic run down your spine as the high keeps fading from your body. Maybe you start sweating again, which are withdrawal symptoms slowly coming back as you lose the high. So, you call your contact to get more so you can feel better. You jump in your car immediately on your way to get your medication. Ultimately, you give them the last bit of money you had. An amount that you know will not last nearly long enough.
You Sit and Stare At The Drugs
You’re thinking maybe you can make it last you the rest of the day. “Maybe,” you argue with yourself, but finally give in and take it. Your inner dialogue is telling you that you need it, you require it, it will make you feel better, and that you can’t stand the withdrawal symptoms so you must have it. Then your phone rings, you hadn’t realized it had been buzzing, but when you look at it you see a missed call from a parent, so you call them back.
They ask how you are, and you lie, say you are doing well. Then they ask you if you need anything and, without a stutter, you ask if you could borrow some money. You lie, claim it’s for bills or your car. Your parent agrees and although you can feel that they know, neither of you says anything about it. Even though your eyes are bloodshot, you feel jittery, and they can tell you’ve lost weight and your lips are so dry they are cracking.
If you find yourself struggling with drug addiction call us today. We will be able to help you start a new life today.
You Begin to Feel Anxious
Again, you’re thinking about when you can get another hit. So, you take the money you were given and go back to your dealer to get more that will last you. You come back home, perhaps you have a pet. Even though you haven’t paid much attention to them, they greet you with adoration. Your phone goes off and you finally take the time to look through it. Text messages from friends asking if you want to go out or hang out with them litter your phone.
You have text messages from family asking how you are doing and if you are eating. Last week, your grandma made a comment about your weight loss. You ignore the messages from friends. Not wanting to hang out, you notice a lack of motivation or energy to deal with them. You get angry at your family’s texts, telling them to mind their own business and that you are fine.
That familiar feeling crawls up your spine, informing you that you need to have another hit. So, you do. You always feel better the moment the high hits you. You tell yourself that it is necessary and that others would not understand your addiction. Saying that you need it, it helps, it makes you feel better. Finally, you find yourself content heading for your bedroom because you feel exhausted. You lie down in bed, your pet comes to lie with you, and they fall asleep quickly. You have some difficulty initially falling asleep, thinking about the next time you can use it. Soon, your eyes close and you fall asleep, waiting for a new day to begin.
Addiction is a compulsive physiological need for a substance that typically causes a habit of using. Drug abuse changes brain function, which tends to lead to personality changes. This is because the use of drugs floods the brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps the brain to regulate movement, emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. The more a person uses a drug it alters critical brain activity causing them to prioritize the substance over everything and anything else in their life. Personality changes due to drug addiction lead to impaired relationships, erratic behavior, poor school or work performance, and poor physical health.
Traits and Behaviors
Those who are suffering from addiction have certain behaviors or traits that often accompany addiction. However, that is not to say that these behaviors go for every person. Some traits and behaviors are that the person that has an addiction has anxiety or depression. Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent sadness. Another behavior is that they may seem impatient, angry, or arrogant. Also, when going to the doctor they might request a narcotic with no true reason. They can make impulsive choices, meaning they may do things without fully thinking it through. They may also seek excitement and new things of interest to do, like an adrenaline junkie. Likewise, they may also lack patience, because they do not like waiting for gratification.
Other traits are that they may feel as if they do not belong to the normal stream of people. They may feel out of place because they feel different from others. They may also participate in criminal activity or other irregular activities. This is because they seek excitement, as stated above. Those who are addicted may also become secretive or defensive when asked questions regarding their drug use. They can also become tired more often and lack the motivation to do normal activities. They can also be paranoid, dishonest, restless, and impulsive while under the influence. Also, they may become aggressive and shift blame away from themselves so they can continue using. They frequently have mood swings and low-stress tolerance. Personality and physiological changes due to drug abuse can cause damage to a person’s overall health physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Those who are using typically lose friends or significant others once they become addicted. Their drug of choice becomes more important than their social life. Some individuals may become very secretive to keep their loved ones from finding out about their addiction. They isolate themselves in order to keep it a secret. Addiction can cause relationships to deteriorate because the user can have frequent mood swings or have anger management issues among other things. Having addiction changes how a user thinks and looks at the world around them, which causes them to move all their attention and energy into being able to have and use the drug. When putting a drug above a relationship the dynamic of the relationship changes, if speaking of romantic relationships, the user becomes less romantic and interested in the partnership.
Addiction can impact finances, physical health, and psychological well-being of the family of the user. Although an addiction mostly impacts the user, it can also affect the people around them, family, and friends. Just as a user loses interest in a romantic relationship, they also lose interest in keeping up their regular social life. They may stop going out or talking to friends and family, isolating themselves. As it was discussed above, they can become more irritable and lack motivation due to the drug. They may get angry at family members or friends, which puts a strain on the relationship causing it to go away. An overall change in relationship navigation can come as a result of drug abuse and personality changes.
If you need help with repairing relationships call us today. Our experts will be happy to discuss with you more tips for fixing things with friends and family. Call now and start repairing your relations today.
Poor Work or School Performance
Two very common behavior changes that happen to a user are loss of interest and having trouble focusing when they are engaging in activities. When students are addicted this greatly affects their performance and grades. If the student is not interested in the activity, then they are not paying attention, which puts them behind in school with grades and homework. Or if they are interested in the work, they may find themselves having difficulty focusing on what is being taught. This often frustrates students and as users typically have low-stress tolerance this can anger them or irritate them. Some students who suffer from an addiction are more likely to drop out of school because it feels like too much stress and is frustrating.
Adults at work who are suffering from addiction are usually seen to have poor performance or quality of work when at the workplace. Drug addiction does the same to adults as it does students, they both lose interest and have trouble focusing during activities. So just as a student may have trouble focusing when watching a presentation an adult at work suffers from the same affliction. However, most adults can hold down a job as a way of having an income to supply for their addiction. Drug abuse in the workplace can cause the user to have lowered productivity, again this is because they may be having difficulty focusing on their assignment while under the influence.
Poor Physical Health
Although most of the changes that a person suffering from addiction are behavioral, it can also affect their physical health, because their drug often becomes the focus of their life and they will ignore simple and basic tasks to take care of themselves. They may not be eating regularly or getting proper nutrition, or they may not be getting enough sleep or have difficulty falling or staying asleep. Not getting proper nutrition or amount of sleep causes stressors on the body and weakens the immune system leaving a user open for their health to deteriorate. They maybe get a common cold, but the symptoms of the cold will be more intense, and it will take longer for a user’s body to recover from the illness.
If you have decided you need help, then congratulations! You have just taken the first step. Recognizing that you need help and finding resources is the first step to anyone getting better. Call us today and we can help you take the next step into your new life!