If you’re planning to get involved in the recovery process and fight substance abuse disorders, then the detox process is going to be one of your first steps. To put it simply, detox is the process of weaning your body off of the substance in question, purging it from the body alongside other toxins. The longer-term treatment isn’t ready to begin until you’ve gone through detox.
Withdrawal syndromes can rear their ugly head when you start to go through detox, and for some people, even knowing that can make it a little more intimidating. However, you can help yourself get rid of that intimidation by knowing what you can expect from your treatment, which is what we’re here to explain.
At the Findlay Recovery Center, we offer detox treatment to our patients to help prepare them for a comprehensive approach to tackling substance disorders alongside the mental health issues that are often connected to them. When you go through detox, it’s not just your body that will have to cope with the sudden absence of the substance that it is used to. Your brain is going to react as well.
Withdrawal syndrome can include a wide range of symptoms that take effect as the body adjusts to this deprivation. Here, we’re going to look at some of the effects that detox and withdrawal can have on your body, which parts of the brain play a role in detox, and those effects.
Your Brain When You Get High
Before going into how detox affects your brain, it’s important to know the mechanisms of your brain and drug abuse, as well. The majority of substances that are ripe for abuse, such as drugs, nicotine, and alcohol all cause some sort of high. They trigger the reward center of the brain, also known as the nucleus accumbens, which causes us to feel pleasure as a response to substance use. This release of feelings of reward can also affect the orbitofrontal cortex, which is where we derive our feelings of motivation. We can feel motivated to seek out that reward again.
These parts of the brain are naturally responsible for releasing the chemical, dopamine, whenever we’re doing something that feels pleasurable. This is what produces the visceral feeling of happiness and satisfaction whenever we’re doing something that we like.
People with substance abuse disorders, however, and a brain that has developed a drug addiction, experience this differently, however. For one, drug use can interrupt the signals of neurons through the brain, hijacking it to not feel pleasure from other sources. What’s more, the surges of dopamine are in such high quantities, that it quickly becomes the case that the brain seeks that level of dopamine time and time again. When your neurons are hijacked like this, they can function less effectively or even die. This can reduce your response to dopamine in general, which can make the need to feel that rush more extreme and consistent.
Your Brain During Detox
At the Findlay Recovery Center, a drug and alcohol addition residential treatment center in Ohio, we provide detox treatments to prepare our clients for long-term addiction therapy. During detox, your brain is going to experience very sharp drops in the levels of serotonin and dopamine. The drop in serotonin can affect communications between the amygdala (the emotional limbic core of the brain) and the frontal lobes. This can lead to feelings of agitation, irritability, restlessness, and general moodiness as your brain is less able to regulate angry feelings.
The decrease in serotonin, on the other hand, can put the reward and motivation centers of the brain into overdrive. You will feel intense cravings, to put it simply. The lack of release from the pleasure center of the brain can also leave you feeling confused, depressed, and even having some trouble sleeping.
However, these effects do wear off. It can take time, but you can start to feel better. Once you do, your brain can start to function normally, helping you fight your addiction and helping you get the sense of pleasure you should from your everyday life.
Detox May be Crucial to Your Future Health and Recovery
If you want to succeed in your fight against drugs, the Findlay Recovery Center is here for you. Get in touch with us and talk about what treatments we can offer. Each of our treatment plans is designed to suit the specific needs and circumstances of the individual.