Addiction and the Brain

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Addiction and the Brain

Just as our brains are powerful organs that allow us to do so many amazing things, they are also susceptible to more dangerous things – like an addiction.

And unfortunately, the same parts of the brain that produce pleasure are also responsible for addiction. There is a direct relationship between addiction and the brain.

As the National Institutes of Health explains, “Drugs or alcohol can hijack the pleasure/reward circuits in your brain and hook you into wanting more and more.”

And that’s just the beginning. If you want to learn more about the relationship between addiction and the brain, we are explaining further.

Effects of Addiction on the Brain

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Drugs interfere with the way neurons send, receive, and process signals via neurotransmitters.” Moreover, when addictive substances affect the brain, they can alter the areas necessary for us to function. This creates in your brain a compulsive need for the addictive substance.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse continues about the pleasure related to addiction, stating, “Just as drugs produce intense euphoria, they also produce much larger surges of dopamine, powerfully reinforcing the connection between consumption of the drug, the resulting pleasure, and all the external cues linked to the experience.” And this “need,” or the constant desire for more, is what we now refer to as an addiction.

Addiction and the Brain – Affected Areas

To better understand addiction and the brain, it’s best to know how the brain functions. There are a few key areas of the brain that addiction most commonly affects. Different addictive substances will affect different parts of the brain; however, which is why we always encourage individualized treatment plans.

Commonly altered brain areas include:

Extended Amygdala: Impacts stress, anxiety, and irritability

Prefrontal Cortex: Impacts thinking, planning and problem solving

Basal Ganglia: Impacts motivation and pleasure

In extreme cases, addiction can affect the brain in a life-threatening matter when dealing with highly dangerous drugs. Addiction becomes particularly dangerous to the brain when it affects basic life functions.

This happens when the addictive substance alters areas of the brain that control breathing or heart rate. And, sadly, this is when addiction can cause overdose and death.

Causal Factors of Addiction

We’ve covered how addiction affects the brain, but there is likely still a lingering question for some of you. Why do only some people suffer from addiction?

While the exact causes of addiction remain a subject of ongoing research, we leave no stone unturned in addressing every possible factor. From genetics to environmental influences and even the impact on the frontal cortex, we consider it all in our comprehensive treatment approach.

It’s also worth noting that younger individuals are more susceptible to addiction due to the developing brain’s vulnerability to addictive substances. With our deep understanding of addiction and its intricate relationship with the brain, we are confident in our ability to provide effective treatment.

If you’re concerned about the financial aspect of treatment, it’s essential to ask: Does Anthem cover insurance for addiction treatment? Understanding your insurance coverage can ease the burden and ensure you receive the necessary care. Subscribe now for valuable insights into insurance coverage and addiction treatment.

Addiction and Mental Illness

Studies have found that nearly 50 percent of people with mental illness also become addicted to either alcohol or drugs. Because addiction occurs in the brain, it is very closely connected to mental illness.

And addictive substances can affect mental illness in two ways. As explains, “Often, certain drugs can create problems that trigger mental health symptoms. In other cases, substances can create mental health symptoms like paranoia, delusions, or depression, while the person is under the influence of the drug.”

This is why we treat addiction and mental illness simultaneously at Resurgence. Understanding this symbiotic relationship, dual treatment is your best chance at long-term recovery.

At Resurgence, we have noticed a particularly high correlation between addiction and:

-Bipolar Disorder





-Borderline Personality Disorder

Understanding Addiction and the Brain at Resurgence Behavioral Health

At Resurgence Behavioral Health in California, we understand the difficulty of beating an addiction while understanding how it affects your brain. We offer alcohol rehab, drug rehab, and both to treat any substance abuse addiction.

We are here to ensure you will beat any addictions you come in with. To do that, we offer detox programs, rehabilitation programs, and an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) post-recovery. We also have a variety of counseling options to treat any mental illness alongside your addictions, including our dual diagnosis program.

Read on to learn more about our treatment options.

Inpatient and Outpatient Programs

We understand that you may have to approach addiction differently depending on what your substance of choice is. Our outpatient drug and alcohol treatment are alternative options for those who cannot attend our residential program.

It is ideal for people who are employed and cannot leave their jobs or those who cannot leave their families. It is also a more affordable option. Each inpatient facility provides close supervision by highly trained staff, 24-hour medical care, individual and group therapy sessions, healthy meal options, and a relaxing environment.

Our Approach to Rehabilitation

We take a customized, patient-centric approach to rehabilitation. We understand addiction needs special attention. If you come to us trying to understand your addiction, we will begin by completing an assessment to devise a plan for your full recovery.

Our treatment programs address all the underlying conditions for addiction to allow you to take ownership of your recovery. Our customized approach, coupled with our staff of highly motivated and well-trained professionals, ensure that you or your loved one will receive excellent care during and after treatment.

Some of the rehabilitation treatments we offer include:

-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

-Stress Management

-Group Therapy

-Medication to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings

Intensive Outpatient Program

If you complete recovery with us in an inpatient or outpatient setting or trying to continue fighting addiction, please check out our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

Breaking an addiction in your brain for the long-term can be especially difficult for anyone. In IOP, you will have the flexibility to maintain much of your normal daily routine while working on maintaining sobriety.

IOP is a good treatment option if you do not have the means to leave your job or if you have to stay home for any other reason. You will receive support from therapy groups and gain the ability to apply the skills you learned during treatment, all while maintaining your normal lifestyle.

Resurgence Payment and Insurance

We firmly believe that every patient should receive the best care possible to treat your addiction. And this means not having to worry about the cost, especially while trying to understand addiction and the brain.

At Resurgence, we will build your treatment plan at an affordable cost while still providing the best care possible. For our services, we accept most PPO insurance as well as private forms of payment for treatment.

We will also communicate with your insurance provider on your behalf to ensure that you or your loved one is provided with a custom recovery program for your situation without the high cost.

Contact Us

We are here to help and support you through finding your truest self while leaving your most destructive self behind.

We understand what it takes to get you through your addiction and the emotional and psychological support you will need from us to become your best self.

Please, contact us today with questions or concerns.