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How an Addict Thinks

Millions of people in America suffer from addiction. It is important to understand how an addicted person’s brain works in order to provide better support and assistance for those struggling with substance use disorder.

“Why Don’t You Just Stop?”

Many believe if an addict wanted to stop their addiction, they’d stop buying their drug of choice and end their behavior altogether. Unfortunately, addiction is a disease that causes the brain’s neurological circuits to crave the drug, regardless of the addict’s intent to stop.

A disconnect occurs in the brain between analytical abilities and action. This is why you may not “recognize” the addict any longer as their former self.

The “Wanting” System

As the addiction worsens, the cravings become unmanageable. The addict may develop impulsive habits to satisfy their craving, no matter the cost. Many addicts turn to stealing, lying and manipulating those around them to feed their addiction.

The dopamine center in the brain is “hijacked” and allows the addict to step outside their normal self and appear as a different person, with unusual behavior and speech patterns.

Understanding Their Pain

Many addicts begin their substance use exploration in order to self-medicate and “numb the pain.” There may be underlying reasons for the addiction that will need to be explored by their loved ones and professionals. Understanding their stresses, anxieties and pain may allow room for treatment.

Understanding an addict’s way of thinking is crucial to supporting their recovery journey. Researching professional help specific to one’s needs will help if you or a loved one are suffering from a substance use disorder.

Turning Point of Tampa’s goal is to always provide a safe environment and a solid foundation in 12-Step recovery, in tandem with quality individual therapy and groups. We have been offering Licensed Residential Treatment in Tampa since 1987. If you need help or know someone who does, please contact our admissions department at 813-882-3003, 800-397-3006 or admissions@tpoftampa.com.