There are several drugs of pleasure that people use today. The problem is not exactly in the use of the drugs but rather in the effects they create in the brain. Addiction contrary to what many people think is not a problem with how frequent you take a drug but what even a single puff of or drop of a drug will cause to your brain and the entire nervous system. Composed of the individual nerve cells also known as neurons the nervous system serves as the network in the body. Without this network all communications between the nerve cells will be broken and a person will be incapacitated to even do a simple task as blinking. Typically, nerve signals are transmitted through the length of a neuron as an electrical impulse. When a nerve impulse reaches the end of the neuron it can jump over to the next cell using chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Therefore without the neurotransmitters the nerves will not be able to send impulses over to other nerve cells in order to initiate specific actions. The neurotransmitters have vital functions in the central nervous system. In the central nervous system these neurotransmitters send impulses between neurons. The functions of the neurotransmitters is not limited to the central nervous system alone but are also crucial in the peripheral nervous system where they send impulses between neurons and gland cells. The peripheral nervous system is composed of nerves that link the central nervous system to the rest of the body.
There are two types of neurotransmitters, the inhibitory transmitters which are known to restore calm in the brain especially after the use of leisure drugs that are known to induce euphoric effects by raising the levels of dopamine and the excitatory neurotransmitters that fires the brain. GABA is one of the inhibitory neurotransmitters that counter the effects of leisure drugs and restores calm in the brain.
GABA is one of the most abundant neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, and especially in the cerebral cortex. The brain cortex is where thinking occurs and sensations are interpreted. As mentioned above GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter brain and it helps in tranquillizing stressful, anxious and worrying thoughts. What happens with most drugs of leisure is that they cause instability in the brain leading to anxiety, stress and even depression. These are symptoms of low GABA. Addiction is a cause of low GABA as most drugs deplete GABA. There are several ways through which this can be medically corrected but those with addiction issues usually turn to their drugs as a means of self-medication but this only worsens the situation leading to anxiety and depression. Tranquilizers and downers are no better solutions to low GABA symptoms but finding a safe GABA regulation therapy may help in addiction treatment. The other cause for use of downers and tranquilizers is the rise in the level of norepinephrine. A rise in this neurotransmitter often induces the use of cannabis sativa.
Made from glutamate in the brain cells, GABA works as an inhibitory neurotransmitter blocking nerve impulses. It is this neurotransmitter that inhibits the actions of dopamine when elevated in level by drug use. Glutamate acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter and when bound to adjacent cells encourages them to fire and send a nerve impulse. However, GABA does the opposite and tells the adjoining cells not to calm, not to send an impulse.
To those with inadequate level of GABA the activities of the excitatory neurotransmitters will not be inhibited and therefore the impulses they send will not be regulated and this often leads to anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, seizures, addiction, Parkinson’s disease and cognitive impairment.
GABA is the most effective neurotransmitter in inhibiting the transmission of nerve impulses from one neuron to another. When this happens it restores calmness in the brain however when drugs are used they inhibit the release of GABA, when GABA release is inhibited there will be more nerve transmissions occurring. These drugs inhibit the release of GABA by causing molecules to bind on neurons near GABA reducing its effect on the neurons. Benzodiazepines and other drugs are known to work in this style, they may also mimic the activities of GABA thereby inhibiting its transmission.
After a long term use of certain drugs, the level of GABA will be depleted to a point where it will be at an all-time low. This will lead to myriad of complications as the nerve impulses will be unregulated. This will lead to such problems as anxiety, depression, cognitive impairment and seizures among other diseases. Without restoring the level of GABA to healthy limits, any attempt to treat an addict will be ineffective.
Finally, Drug addiction treatment is a complex procedure that needs the input of an experienced integrative doctor. the health of neurotransmitters matters a lot and now that it is known that some drugs depletes these neurotransmitters there is need for treatment of addiction in a manner that restores the functions of the entire nervous system. This is why here at AWAREmed we are dedicated to finding the best solutions to addiction and dependence on substances. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is always in the mood of helping any patient to be addiction free. Do not hesitate to call on her for help in managing any sort of chronic pain as well as other diseases.