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Physiology of Addiction

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This paper illustrates that pleasure, a complex neurobiological phenomenon, is a state of happiness and satisfaction. It is very much essential for a content living. A biological mechanism that motivates events associated with pleasure is known as the reward. Pleasure can lead to good effects like health and productivity, and cognition and, at the same time cause negative behaviors like the addiction. Pleasure depends on the reward circuitry which is nothing but limbic activity. Dopaminergic signaling is the most important neurotransmitter system involved in pleasure. While natural rewarding activities are crucial for appetite motivation and survival of any individual, artificial pleasurable activities have detrimental effects not only on the health of the individual but also on the family and society. Drugs and alcohol are the most common sources of artificial pleasurable activities. These substances cause-the effect by acting on the various neurotransmitter systems of the brain. Persistent intake of these substances results in addiction. People who are addicted to a particular substance cannot quit taking that substance on their own. Hence it can be said that addiction is a type of illness and needs treatment. There are many causes for the development of addictive behavior. While the drug itself leads to drug-seeking behavior, research has shown that many changes in the brain can be the main contributing factors for this condition. According to the current model that explains addiction behavior, addiction begins in the brain through pleasure and reward circuits involving dopamine.