Ever had one? Addiction is a dreadful compulsion one faces where consequences seem to affect us less and our choice is motivated by getting maximum pleasure out of the experience.
This experience associated with taking psychotropic substances (popularly called drugs), Alcohol, Smoking, or even with some feelings especially those related to love. The high which you feel could be triggered by any one of the above mentioned.
Before we understand the impact of discrimination.
How Addiction Affects You?
Let’s first understand how pleasure and pain affect the brain,
Pleasure, the good feeling/sensation you get is the pleasure you’re experiencing. The chemical messengers trigger the release of dopamine which is released in the brain reward center. Dopamine is what guides our behavior to pursue pleasures in general. The 3 primary motivators are food, sex, and drugs.
Likewise Pain, the chemical messengers send messages from spine via thalamus to cerebral cortex where it is deciphered as pain. The instant uneasy sensation produced making you say ‘ouch’ is called pain.
Addiction closely relates to pleasure more than it relates to pain. Merriam Webster defines Addiction as ‘ a strong and harmful need to regularly have something(such as drug) or do something.‘ Our behaviors are driven by need feel pleasure and in some cases urge to acquire more pleasure becomes the only rule that governs life.
Addiction is not necessarily that happens when one consumes drugs more often. It can be from alcohol, smoking, painkillers, phone, social media, intimacy, gaming etc. Regretfully, we can get addicted to many things in the current age.
How addiction works?
Your brain is wired to make you do stuff that promotes more dopamine production. More dopamine crudely translates into more pleasure. So, your behavior is motivated to chase dopamine. Example, taking alcohol produces dopamine which translates into you feeling good.
more alcohol = more dopamine = more happy feeling
Hence, you more likely to be drinking it or engage in binge drinking of alcohol, because drinking of more alcohol would lead to more feel good. Same can be said about drugs or social media depending upon varying levels of intensity. Drugs being more intense would produce more dopamine.
Addiction as urge or habit, since your dopamine levels are set higher or you now require more dopamine than the usual level which you were adjusted to before you started drinking alcohol. You are likely to crave it more. The urge that you feel to drink more, governs your behavior.
Signs you are addicted,
- It affects your daily functioning.
- It is all that you look for, dominates your thoughts.
- Affects your social life. Become less social.
- Lack of control over oneself, you are almost like bee driven to it without much thought.
- Feeling of strong urge repetitively frequently in a day.
- During the day it’s all that you think about
- Lack of motivation.
- Confusion and hallucination (extreme cases)
- Uneasiness and Anxiousness.
Drug Addiction affects,
- Decision making
In all, addiction can have an everlasting physiological and mental impact. It may take a long time to recover from it, generally more than 6 months. In cases of extreme drug abuse, it can cause permanent damage to the brain. United Nations report on drug abuse, estimated that drug kills about 200,000 people annually.
Addiction is a problem. One has to remain mindful to not become susceptible to the habit that expresses addiction. In time one should asses and take proper precaution to not fall prey to it. Know you know how addiction works you can better deal with it or eliminate it timely.
By the way, social media can be addictive!!