A drug addiction to painkillers is often referred to as an opioid addiction. An opioid is a synthetic drug that mimics opiate drugs and can be extremely addictive. It can be very hard to break an opioid addiction, primarily because of the effects these drugs have on chemicals in the brain. Opioids directly affect the way the brain produces dopamine, and here are several things to understand about this correlation.
What is dopamine?
Dopamine is one of several chemicals found in the brain that cause you to feel pleasure. When you do something you enjoy or love to do, your brain rewards you by producing and releasing dopamine. Each time this happens, you feel great, happy, and satisfied, and this is what occurs when a person becomes addicted to opioids.
A person will take the pills because they cause the brain to produce more dopamine, which makes him or her feel great. The pills also produce chemicals in the brain that resemble dopamine, and this is what gives a person a high when taking opioid drugs.
Why does this lead to addiction?
A person addicted to opioids will want to keep taking the pills to obtain the highs they offer; however, the brain will eventually stop producing dopamine. This occurs when a person is addicted to these pills for a long time. When the brain stops making dopamine, the person will need to take more pills to compensate for the dopamine the brain is no longer producing. This is why an opioid addiction can be so hard to break.
What can you do to break the addiction?
Breaking any type of addiction is difficult and may require help from a professional drug addiction treatment facility. Drug addiction treatment centers use a variety of techniques to help people break opioid addictions, and one method involves finding ways to encourage the brain to naturally produce more dopamine.
Exercising is one way to do this. When a person exercises, the brain will release dopamine. Eating right is another way to encourage the production of dopamine. Foods such as apples, bananas, avocados, and oatmeal are known for helping the brain produce this important chemical.
If someone you know is struggling with an opioid addiction, you may want to encourage him or her to seek help for this problem. To learn more about this subject, contact a drug addiction treatment facility in your area today.