When Compulsion Takes Over [Infographic]

About 10 percent of Americans are addicted to alcohol or other drugs. The top three of these addiction causing drugs are marijuana, opioid (narcotic) pain relievers, and cocaine. The word “addiction” itself is derived from a Latin term for “enslaved by” or “bound to.” How do people become enslaved to drugs? Addictive drugs provide a shortcut to the brain’s reward system by flooding the nucleus accumbens with dopamine and overloading it.  Addictive drugs release two to 10 times the amount of dopamine that natural rewards do, and they do it more quickly and reliably.

When compulsion takes over, the mere memory of a drug causes a desire to recreate the effect. Even after years of abstinence, an addict risks relapse due to the lasting memory formed in their addicted brain—this is known as conditioned learning.

To learn more about the state of the addicted brain, check out the infographic below.

Your Brain on Drugs
Image source: www.bestrehabcounselingdegrees.com

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency , based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-2018. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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