Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that affects the way a person’s brain works. Repeated use of drugs or alcohol can cause changes in the brain’s reward system, making it difficult for a person to resist the urge to use drugs or alcohol despite the negative consequences.
Drugs of abuse stimulate the release of dopamine in the brain’s reward center, which reinforces drug-seeking behavior. With repeated drug use, the brain becomes less responsive to dopamine, leading to the need for larger amounts of the drug to achieve the same effect.
Drug use can also alter the function and structure of the brain, affecting decision-making, judgment, memory, and impulse control. This can lead to a variety of behavioral and cognitive changes, including decreased motivation and increased risk-taking behavior.
Over time, addiction can become a chronic, relapsing condition that requires ongoing treatment and support. However, with the right help and support, addiction can be effectively managed and recovery is possible.