Addicted Behavior – The Addicted Brain
What Behavior Changes During Active Addiction is Like
As you know, addiction is a chronic disease that centers in the brain.
The brain is responsible for all actions and choices a person makes, including using drugs and alcohol.
In the beginning, addictive substances are usually used for fun or to relieve pain.
However, drug use releases chemicals that will make a person feel happy, excited and euphoric.
So, how do people become addicted?
After some time, these euphoric feelings will become addictive and the only way to feel the euphoria is to keep using, regardless of the consequences and addictive behaviors that come with using drugs.
This is when drug addiction sets in.
Once you’ve become addicted to the substances, you’ll start exhibiting addiction behaviors.
Some behaviors include unsuccessful attempts to quit, loss of control, financial instability and a handful of character defects such as manipulation and dishonesty.
Addiction Takes Over Your Life
The addiction will also start to take over your life in every way, in a slow progression.
Family, work, or other personal needs will be no longer be a priority in your life.
Your family and work will surely notice the difference.
But in your mind, you don’t notice the distance you have created.
You have what matters most to you at this moment which is the addictive substances you are abusing.
These addictive substances now have control over the dopamine in your brain which controls you, your actions and causes the behaviors.
Addiction Behavior: Loss of Self Control
Your mind doesn’t realize these behaviors as foreign because the behaviors are now just a part of who you are as a person.
However, you will begin to figure out you can’t put the substance down- no matter how hard you try.
You’re going to feel defeated by this drug that is now controlling your life.
No matter what you do, you can’t stop.
Not being able to stop using this substance is going to cause a domino effect of emotions and other addictive behaviors.
The Loss of Control Progressively Worsens
You’re going to lose total control over your choices and not notice it happening before it’s too late.
When you lose control, you’ll start calling out of work from being hungover or not having your fix to pick you up and get you going in the morning.
The first few times you call out, your job probably won’t automatically think you’re getting high.
However, the excuses are going to run out and the only thing your employer will be able to pin the absences on is exactly what you’re doing—abusing drugs and/or alcohol.
Your employer will probably order a drug test and you’ll probably fail, which, in turn, will cause you to lose your job.
Losing your job is going to cause financial instability and family drama.
This is inevitable, though; if you were to lose your job due to cutbacks or something other than addiction, there will still be financial instability and issues with your significant other.
Lack of Motivation and Losing Yourself
Unless your significant other goes to your work and demands to know the reason you were let go, he or she will never know, and your addiction behaviors know that.
In fact, they’ll help you come up with a master story which will most likely manipulate your significant other into feeling bad for you about losing your job.
Of course, he or she won’t know about drug addiction.
He or she will only know the manipulative story your addiction behaviors helped you create.
Another addiction behavior that’s going to come when the loss of your job happens is lack of motivation.
Since you’ve already lost your job, you now have some money in savings and more time to use your drug of choice.
You’ll most likely manipulate yourself into thinking, “oh I deserve this break and I will look for a new job later.”
However, later never comes and five months have gone by and you’ve lost your savings, your significant other is about to throw you out of the house and you still can’t stop using no matter how hard you try.
The addiction and addiction behaviors are now controlling your every move.
There is nothing stopping you from using drugs even if that means living on the street.
Eventually, you feel like you’ve lost everything.
Your family, your home, your job, your car, and yourself.
Putting a Stop to Addiction
As time passes, you feel you’re losing bits and pieces of yourself every time you use.
Far before you get to this point, you have rewired your brain.
The thought that your brain is completely rewired and you’re stuck with addiction behaviors—such as loss of control, manipulation, and financial instability—is frightening.
However, you can rewire your brain with extensive drug and alcohol treatment.
Finding drug and alcohol treatment isn’t a difficult thing to do.
Help for Addiction Is Out There - It's Just a Matter of Reaching Out
It’s all around you and your job is to ask for help. Once you do, you’re on the road to success in finding recovery.
When you have lived your life battling these addiction behaviors the thought of change may scare you.
It’s okay to feel scared and uncomfortable because with those feelings comes growth and that’s what the next few months of your life are going to look like—growth.
When you get into treatment, you aren’t going to see changes overnight.
It took time to rewire your brain to be the way it was and it will take time to reverse it.
The process of bettering yourself is going to be a lot of individual and family counseling, attending support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Working through these treatments will ensure you a lifelong journey without the use of the drugs and/or alcohol that were pulling you down.
Once again, this process is going to take time and patience.
There are going to be bumpy roads ahead but a bad day sober is going to be ten times better than a good day getting high—that’s a promise.
Give yourself time to change and don’t wait to make it happen.
NIDA. (2018, July 20). Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction on 2019, February 18