Understanding the Source of Addiction and How to Overcome It
Do you remember the first time riding a roller coaster, or the first time riding a bike? The thrill, the exhilaration. Your brain was adjusting to the new experience by releasing dopamine, a chemical neurotransmitter in the brain that performs many different functions. Scientists have known for years that dopamine is connected to drug and other addictions, and learning to regulate it could be the key to overcoming addictions.
In the last decade we have learned so much more about the brain’s response to substance abuse. The most powerful organ in our body, the brain is constantly taking in feedback from our environment. Excessive drug use changes the brain because the unnatural high produces 2-10 times the amount of dopamine. The user is always looking to achieve that new level of high and when they can’t, they spiral into a state of depression.
Our next article will talk in more detail about dopamine, but understand that it plays a critical role in brain function and how the neurons in our brains talk to one another. Think of a neuron like an airport; it is a connecting point between other neurons (airports). Planes fly in, drop off passengers, and fly to other destinations. Neurons pass information between each other and make connections to other neurons.
If dopamine is the issue for addiction, then regulating dopamine may be the solution. A technology called neurofeedback helps the brain regulate itself, which can in turn regulate the levels of dopamine. Utilized for decades to help individuals with mental health disorders like PTSD, ADHD, depression and anxiety, Neurofeedback has been gaining ground as an effective method of treatment for substance abuse. It may also be the key to other addictions, like cigarettes and alcohol.
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, computer-based system that involves audio or visual stimulation while connected to the system using small electrodes. The computer monitors brainwaves in real time and help make very minor adjustments that can help a person refocus and reinforce health brainwave patterns. The process is completely safe, and most people find it very enjoyable.
If you live in Orlando and are looking for a permanent solution that uses no medications, neurofeedback may be right for you. To learn more, call us at the number below or use the contact form below.
Posted In: Neurofeedback