The Dangers of Addiction
Addiction is a chronic disease. Once addicted, individuals continue to relapse due to the neurobiological changes in the brain caused by substance abuse/drug abuse. These changes cause the individual to crave the drug and seek out situations where they can obtain the substance in question, be it a legal one such as alcohol and tobacco or an illegal one such as cocaine and heroin. The brain’s reward system is responsible for the rewarding effects achieved while taking these substances. When a person takes a drug, the brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. This dopamine release causes euphoria and feelings of well-being. However, prolonged high levels of dopamine cause tolerance and dependence. Tolerance refers to the need for higher amounts of the drug to achieve the same effect. Addiction occurs when the body becomes physically dependent on the drug.
Drugs of abuse activate neurons in the mesocorticolimbic pathway, causing the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and glutamate, which increases the likelihood of further drug consumption. Cold laser therapy uses light and impulses to affect the natural functioning of the brain, helping it go back to the normal ways it receives the signals while sober.
- Studies have also shown that alcoholics exhibit structural abnormalities in the cerebellum, a part of the brain that controls motor coordination, balance, and posture. Alcoholics tend to have larger posterior fossa volumes compared to normal subjects.
- Heroin users show significant reductions in white matter integrity in the corpus callosum, a bundle of nerve fibers connecting the left and right hemispheres of the brain. White matter integrity declines with age, and heroin abusers are older than non-abusers.
- Methamphetamine users show reduced cortical thickness in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, temporal pole, and medial prefrontal cortex. Cortical thinning was greater in methamphetamine abusers than in cocaine abusers.
- Cannabis smokers show significantly lower gray matter density in the bilateral anterior cingulate cortices and the right insula than nonsmokers. Marijuana smokers show significantly less gray matter volume in the left caudate nucleus and putamen than nonsmokers, suggesting that marijuana smoking may affect dopaminergic pathways.
- Cocaine abusers show reduced gray matter volume in the right precentral gyrus, inferior parietal lobe, and middle occipital gyrus. A study published in 2012 by the National Institute on Drug showed that the brains of cocaine addicts had smaller volumes of gray matter than those of nonaddicts. Gray matter volume decreases as a result of neuronal loss and shrinkage.
Addiction Treatment - What Is It?
Addiction treatment is a broad term that includes any therapy that helps people overcome their addiction to drugs, alcohol, or any form of behavioral addictions.
It is the process of treating someone who suffers from addiction. There are many different types of addictions, including alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, sex, shopping, eating disorders, internet addiction, etc.
Similarly, there are many different types of addiction treatment options and programs, including 12-step programs, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), and many others.
Treatment for addiction can be acquired either as an inpatient (staying in a facility for the duration of treatment), or as an outpatient, which requires you to attend treatment during the week. Here at LaserQuit, we offer outpatient treatment in the form of cold laser therapy, which has been shown to reduce cravings for substances including alcohol and nicotine.
So if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, we are here to help you recover with the help of Cold Laser Therapy. Contact us today to begin your recovery journey.
How Does Laser Therapy Help with Addiction?
Cold Laser Therapy is a safe, drug-free solution that focuses on treating the same pressure points used in acupuncture—without the discomfort of needles! By treating specific pressure points, laser therapy stimulates your body to release a more potent endorphin rush, similar to what you experience when you take drugs or drink alcohol.
Our therapy uses low-level lasers and is designed to help reduce withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and other difficult aspects of recovery, making it easier for you to stay on track and restore balance to your physical and mental health.
Hence, if you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, our addiction treatment program can help you to reduce cravings for substances by using cold laser therapy. Our treatment model allows you to attend one of our centers as an outpatient client, so you don’t need to worry about having time for other things, neither will you need to sacrifice your daily commitments while undergoing the treatment.