Chemical Dependencies

Written by Patty Yu
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Not only do drugs create chemical dependencies within the body, but they also begin a persistent, destructive cycle that affects personal and professional relationships. Once a person is truly addicted to a drug, it becomes nearly impossible to stop without drug addiction treatments. Drug abuse patterns may control someone's life for years and years before help is sought.

Often, the drug use begins under the misconception that the person wouldn't become addicted if they just use the drug every once in a while. However, potent drugs develop tolerance in the body, which is a major predecessor to chemical dependencies. When tolerance for a drug increases, the person begins to use higher quantities to achieve the same effects, often using the drug more frequently too.

Relying on Chemical Dependencies

The chemical reactions that occur when taking drugs like cocaine, heroin, and even prescription medications, inhibit receptors in the brain and cause a euphoric effect. Reduced dopamine receptors in the brain cause unnatural highs and disrupt the body's natural reward system. Therefore, the person becomes less responsive to natural stimulating experiences, such as a romantic relationship, getting a promotion, or playing a sport.

Instead of receiving pleasure from day to day activities, the brain is stunted from the reduced dopamine levels, creating severe chemical dependencies on the drugs that artificially stimulate pleasure sensors. When a person fights his or her drug addictions, much time is necessary for the body to rebuild its normal reward system. Relapsing into old habits is especially easy to do, but many drug treatment centers help recovering addicts in the process.

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