Overall, the fact of the matter is that no one knows they suffer from addiction until that fateful first sip of alcohol or first snort of cocaine. In fact, according to one report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), that people only need to consume the smallest does of an addictive drug in order to disrupt the internal workings of the brain. By merely taking a bump of cocaine, for example, people send their brain’s teaching signals into a tailspin, resulting in poor error detection. Let’s take a closer look at what the NIDA team uncovered.
Predicting the Consequences
Science has proven, time and time again, that humans and our animal counterparts must predict consequences and determine future outcomes as part of a behavioral map. In the same sense, they need to understand what breaches these rules: for example, when expectations for a reward are shattered. To activate this system, the brain lights up midbrain neurons that serve as “error detectors” of sorts, sending signal after signal to alter humans or animals to the lack of a reward or a negative outcome following a decision.
Here’s where the conversation gets interesting: just a drop of cocaine (or other drugs) can toss a monkey wrench into the whole operation.
Getting a Bad Signal
As part of a recent experiment, a group of scientists assessed a group of rats that had been modified to be cocaine addicts. For a month, the team refrained from giving the drug to the animals and ran the subjects through a test that would offer rewards. For the group of rats that were addicted to cocaine, VTA dopamine neurons kept sending signals even after the rewards were taken away and did not stop firing, signaling a problem.
Seeking Treatment for Drug Addiction or Alcoholism
Alcoholism and drug addiction are dangerous sicknesses that should never be taken lightly. All it takes to fall off the wagon and become sick is to take that first sniff, snort, injection, or shot before you are rolling downhill into insanity. Still, you can always push the train back up, but it will be a difficult hike. However, with the right mixture of perseverance and determination, you can easily get back on track and be happy once more.
Are you suffering from a severe case of alcoholism or drug addiction? Do you have a friend or a loved one who is coping with the same illness? In both cases, get in touch us at with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of drug withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you are seeking more information about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.