Addiction is a disease in the brainstem area of the brain, the oldest part of the brain in terms of developmental history.
The neurotransmitter dopamine is addictive. In low doses, it helps to consolidate memories in the brain. In higher doses, however, it changes the brain in a short time, creates new stimulation pathways and allows proteins to emerge in the cells which change the information in genes and develop independent control.
You have won a thousand-meters race... The brain releases the "success hormone" dopamine and you feel happy.
You drink a glass of wine... Wine is a brain-active substance and leads to the release of dopamine. More dopamine is released than during running – without any effort.
You sniff cocaine... And a thousandfold quantity of dopamine is released... You feel fantastic.
You have won the lottery... Dopamine is released due to the pleasure.
You play on slot machines every day... Dopamine is released constantly.
You consume pornography... Dopamine is also released during sexual arousal and triggers the dopamine mechanism.
The brain signals craving as it has been sensitized for the drug or the experience. With increasing habituation, the dosage becomes increasingly larger but not necessarily the pleasure. It is not more fun, it is not more satisfying but it requires increasingly larger quantities.
Besides dopamine, other substances such as endorphin and adrenaline are activated. There is a neuronal firework in the brain – and as soon as it is over, it gets dark, lonely, cold and empty in your brain and you need the next dose.
Our brain comprises a pleasure center which is part of the so-called limbic system. When I feel pleasure, I learn more easily, enjoy cooking more, etc.
Drugs reduce the stimulus threshold of the pleasure center so that not only the drug but every experience under the influence of drugs is great. The same process takes place when we fall in love: Everything that the significant other does is wonderful. Everything that we experience while being in love is wonderful.
That is why we see everything through rose-colored glasses and barely feel pain and reluctance. Even dirt and disgustingness is borne without complaint as the readiness for pleasure is much higher.
Craving for drugs, immediate satisfaction, increased desire, steady increase of the dose, comedown, withdrawal, loss of presence, addictive drug becomes purpose in life, narrowing of interests, loss of quality of life, concentration on the purchase and use of drugs.
Friends, family, hobbies... Everything is subordinated to the use of drugs.
During withdrawal, pain, shivering, freezing, anxiety and the unmanageable urge to use drugs set in.
The neurotransmitters form a neuronal network in the brain which develops a complete life of its own and creates its own control.
This control is beyond our willpower.
The will and the personality say "I want to get out! I want to stop! I’m losing..."
The neuronal network independently controls the search for and the use of drugs.
First of all, you must admit that you are ill and that you have a problem.
If you are willing to change your life, we can achieve a great deal together until you are ready to work again, to have a healthy partnership and to live a life without addictive substances.
If you allow changes, your brain will be able to save new information again. The brain can always re-learn, develop further and create new neuronal pathways. You have to want it...
Give me a call or send me an email.