When you use drugs, your brain is affected in several ways. The most noticeable effect is that things feel very pleasant. You might feel happy, or see brighter colors and hear sharper sounds than usual.
Another effect is that you might become tolerant of the drug’s effects. In other words, it becomes less effective over time—you may need to take more to get the same good feeling as before. The third effect is that you might start to feel bad when you’re not taking the drug.
This combination of pleasurable effects and unpleasant ones means that drugs are very addictive. When people find out how addictive drugs are, they often try never to touch them again. But it’s hard to beat addiction without help.
What Happens In The Brain When You Are High?
During a drug high, the brain regions associated with thinking and planning become less active, while the parts of the brain connected to pleasure, memories, and emotions become more active. Higher levels of dopamine (a chemical that works as part of the brain’s reward system) change how our brain works. It leads us to develop drug-seeking behaviors. That is why people tend to crave drugs even when they know they’re bad.
Addiction also affects the brain’s ability to learn and remember. People addicted to drugs may find it difficult to learn new things or remember information.
What Happens In The Brain When You Are Drunk?
When someone gets drunk, their brain gets into a new state. It starts to produce many of the same effects as drugs do. Alcohol also interferes with chemical processes in the brain associated with pleasure, memories, and emotions—the things that lead us to become addicted to drugs.
During intoxication, the prefrontal cortex (area behind the forehead) shrinks. It is responsible for making good decisions, controlling impulses, and weighing the consequences of actions before taking them.
When this part of the brain shrinks too much, it no longer works properly. As a result, its ability to control impulses and make good choices reduces. When one gets drunk, you can act in ways you wouldn’t normally. You might do things you will later regret, or that could get you into trouble.
Why Are Drugs So Addictive?
Almost all drugs that are addictive affect the brain’s reward system. Such things include natural rewards like food and sex—and drugs like heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine (crystal meth), nicotine, and alcohol.
These substances trigger feelings of pleasure in different ways, but they work by disrupting the normal functioning of dopamine in our brains. Dopamine is a chemical responsible for feelings of pleasure, motivation, and addiction.
When we take drugs or alcohol, they cause the release of more dopamine than normal. This floods the brain with pleasure signals and makes us want to keep taking the drug to feel that good feeling again. Over time, this can lead to addiction, when someone feels like they have to keep taking drugs to feel normal, or can’t stop taking them even though they want to.
How Does Tolerance Develop?
When someone takes drugs or alcohol regularly, the brain gets used to this new “normal” level of pleasure. It stops producing so much dopamine on its own. This is when people start to feel withdrawal symptoms when they stop using, and their drug use reaches a dangerous level.
If you are struggling to get away from addiction, help is available. Contact The Process Recovery Center for the next step in recovery.