It was once widely held that addiction to drugs and alcohol was a moral failing; the belief was that the addicted person lacked the willpower and desire to change. However, the paradigm has shifted in recent years, as research continues to show addiction is a brain disease that is no different than many other diseases. It has been found that habitual drug use interferes with the brain’s operation to the point where memory, judgment, motivation, and impulse control become impaired. For instance, cocaine can cause an overload in the naturally occurring neurotransmitter “dopamine,” creating an extreme sense of euphoria. As the brain repeatedly experiences unnatural spikes in dopamine-induced euphoria, its ability to experience happiness with life’s simple pleasures declines.
Thanks to science, views and our responses to addiction and the broader spectrum of substance use disorders have changed dramatically. If you’re looking for extra support and guidance through a challenging situation or you’re just ready to move in a new direction in your life, we look forward to working with you to achieve your goals. Plains Area Mental Health Center is here to help. We are proud of the many benefits and services we provide for people of all ages across the region. Please contact one of our offices for more information or take our free on-line screening on this website.
P.S. Aside from drug and alcohol addiction, there are addictions related to gambling, sex, food, shopping, and social media use.