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The Circuitry of Compulsive Heroin Use

How Drugs Affect the Receptors in the Brain

Despite all the research that has been conducted over the years, drug addiction has still proven to be a highly complex problem, almost mechanical in nature. Throughout this entire process, people begin to abuse potent drugs and, as a result, form potentially long-lasting attachments to some of these dangerous substances. One infamous player in particular is heroin, a synthetic opioid that has been fanning the flames of the American Opioid Crisis for several decades now. In every grim case, addicts will take any measures to regain a supply of heroin in an effort to stop withdrawal, but why is this the case? What is the trigger for this compulsive behavior? Let’s take a closer look at the circuitry of heroin use, as provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Excited for More Heroin

So why do people keep returning to heroin, almost desperately so? As part of a project at NIDA’s Intramural Research Program (IRP), scientists attempted to peer into the circuitry of the brain to determine why people suffer from cues for withdrawal, which ultimately trigger heroin consumption. During the test on specially-conditioned heroin-dependent lab rats, the scientists confirmed that these cues not only trigger heroin-seeking behavior but also stimulate the hypothalamus and amygdala, two brain organs connected to negative feelings.

Understanding Opioid Use Disorder

What makes this experiment especially unique is how scientists have been granted a window into understanding opioid use disorder (OUD) on a more intricate scale. As part of the experiment, the team uncovered the circuitry of the brain that is responsible for generating cues for heroin use, which can help them determine pharmacological or behavioral intervention methods for future patients. Currently, NIDA IRP is conducting further experiments in this field.

Seeking Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Opioid use disorder is easily one of the most terrifying substance use disorders on the planet, mostly because opioid addiction partially stems from a large number of drugs that are legally regulated by the federal government. For decades, our country has suffered beneath the weight of dangerous synthetics and legal painkillers, and millions of Americans have suffered from addiction throughout the 20 years the crisis has been brewing. However, you can make the right decision by taking a stand against your addiction and regaining your health and happiness.

If you are suffering from a severe case of drug addiction, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of opioid 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 want to find out more 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.


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