The brain is an extremely complicated organ, in fact, the human brain is the most complex thing in the known world. One has billions of Neurons in their brain, and these Neurons have millions of connections. It is believed that the number of various possible connections in the human brain is greater than the number of atoms in the universe!

A primary function of the brain is to learn which experiences are good and which are not. This is accomplished by the brain experiencing two distinct and important feelings, pain, and pleasure. Through pain and pleasure, humans are guided to experiences which are pleasurable and are pushed away from those which are painful. That makes sense, right?

Certain substances or drugs can stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain in powerful ways. Animal studies have demonstrated that for example, a rat will push a lever to receive a dose of Cocaine, to the exception of all other activities including eating. The rat will essentially ask for more and more Cocaine until it eventually dies.

People become addicted to drugs because they provide pleasurable effects. Since pleasurable feelings, or the high from drugs and alcohol can help alleviate emotional pain and suffering, it’s no wonder that folks drink and take drugs to make themselves feel better. The more the pleasurable effects drugs provide, and the more drugs reduce pain and suffering, the greater the likelihood that the drugs will be used again and again until the person is unable to stop. When this happens, a person’s brain changes and becomes selfish, seeking more of the drug in a vicious cycle called an addiction, or Substance Use Disorder.

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