The Science Behind Detox and Addiction and Why it's so Hard to Quit

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Science behind Detox and Addiction and why it's so Hard to Quit

Understanding the science behind the disease of addiction may help us to understand why it may be so difficult to quit.

If you have ever experienced addiction, or you know someone who is an addict, you know what a battle it can be to quit. Substance abuse draws a victim into a downward spiral until it feels like there is no way out. The body and mind crave a drug, until getting more consumes every minute. Kicking the habit is so difficult that drug rehab center is the best chance for freedom from addiction. When you look at a victim of addiction, you need to understand the science behind the illness and empathize with why it may be so difficult to quit.

Addiction is Caused by Changes to the Brain

When someone becomes addicted, whether it's painkillers, alcohol, cigarettes, or illicit drugs, chemical changes occur in the brain itself. The brain actually becomes tolerant to the addictive substances to the point that the body requires drugs in order to function and steer clear of withdrawal. As the neurons become manipulated in the brain, it can permanently alter the way the brain functions. This is the reason why an addict can't simply quit cold turkey. The brain is now programmed to need the source of addiction. Only through drug rehab and major support can addicts reprogram their brains to function properly. Otherwise, their lives could be at risk.

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What Happens During Detox?

Detox is the period when an addict is cut off from the source of the addiction. This is an extremely difficult time while the body begins to eliminate toxins that have been stored up in the system. The mental cravings for addictive substances are overwhelming, and the body will exhibit physical symptoms that are debilitating. Pain, fever, stomach problems, shaking, and chills are common.

During this withdrawal period, an addict will feel extremely ill because the body and mind are accustomed to the drug. In drug rehab facilities, staff members will assist the addict in overcoming this stressful period. Nutrition and support is provided, as well as medications that can ease the symptoms of withdrawal. Once the initial period of detox is over, therapy can begin during a long-term period of rehabilitation. During that time, an addict can reprogram the brain, and learn to live without the source of addiction. Drug rehab involves comprehensive care that addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual in order to achieve sobriety.

Addiction is a hard habit to break, but it is possible. Through a strong support network of loved ones and a qualified medical facility, victims of addiction can find their way back to a sober lifestyle. Know how to help the addict in your life and educate yourself on the disease of addiction.

By Brooke ChaplanEmbed

Author Bio - 33rd Square contributor Brooke Chaplan is recent graduate of New Mexico University where she studied journalism. She loves to hike, bike, run and explore around her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She also enjoys blogging about health, fitness, fashion and many other topics.