Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long lasting and can lead to many harmful, often self-destructive, behaviors. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Alcohol and mood altering drugs (prescription or illegal) work by either mimicking the action of neurotransmitters, or artificially stimulating/ suppressing them. Different drugs affect different neurotransmitters and their receptors. Continued use of these substances can gradually decrease the brain cells’ natural ability to send or receive signals.The nervous system then becomes physically dependent on the substance, continuing to use it in an attempt to maintain feelings of normalcy and avoid withdrawal. This then deepens the problem. Abrupt withdrawal can be a dangerous shock, and gradually cutting down can be a very slow and painful process—one that often ends in failure, lasting anxiety, depression, insomnia and other unpleasant symptoms. The drugs or alcohol have dug their own hole, which now only they can ll. Chemical dependence adds another problem to any health problems the person may have had before using the substances.
The reason drugs and alcohol can so easily alter the brain is that it is not designed for this type of prolonged or heavy chemical exposure. The brain develops very slowly during childhood and adolescence in a carefully balanced way, and these substances throw off that important balance. The body does not have adequate quantities of protein repair materials naturally available to repair this type of damage.
However, now there is hope. With Alternative Methods such as NAD IV Therapy and BRIDGE (FDA approved), millions of Americans struggling with substance abuse can now recover from their chemical dependency through intravenous NAD+ therapy, an all-natural and holistic approach for the mind, body and spirit.