Cravings & Addictions – The Effect of Brain Chemicals

Do you feel like you always have cravings for something? Never feeling calm and collected?

Addictions or cravings to alcohol, cigarettes, sugar, exercise, gambling and legal drugs all have the same underlying cause. Brain chemicals!

Cravings and additions - the effect of brain chemicals.

There are several brain chemicals, (neurotransmitters) involved in addictive pathways. By correcting the levels of these two the addiction or craving is addressed. These neurotransmitters are dopamine and endogenous opioids.

  1. Dopamine starts our rewards pathway. It motivates us to do the things we enjoy, even when they’re bad for us.

  2. When having contact with the addictive substance, for example have a few drinks or a cigarette, a huge rush of endogenous opioids is released. Endogenous opioids cause euphoria. That euphoria is obviously very enjoyable, and we want more and more. The problem is that each time we have an addictive substance we “use up” some of our naturally produced endogenous opioids. If we don’t have a good diet or use our addiction too frequently we can’t keep up with the production of endogenous opioids, so we need more and more of our addictive substance to stimulate the rush of endogenous opioids. When endogenous opioids get low, the user starts to feel less euphoria in daily activities. This worsens as levels are further depleted. So as a person “uses up” endogenous opioids the less enjoyable life becomes. Spending time with loved ones feels flat and boring, healthy activities just don’t seem worth the effort and the user spirals out of control into the addiction or cravings because they’re the only thing that makes them feel good.

The good news is that its correctable. Increasing neurotransmitter levels start to bring colour and enjoyment back into daily activities. If you want help getting your life back on track call 07 5309 6701 today.

Please note we do not offer residential rehabilitation services.

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