top of page

The pleasure center of the brain and addiction

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

There is an area in the brain that is referred to as the pleasure centre, where the use of drugs for instance causes surges of dopamine to the nucleus accumbens, and where bad habits serve as an emotional filler. If you're heading for food more often than your body requires during the lockdown, using recreational drugs, increasing your alcohol intake, downing painkillers or sleeping tablets, overspending on online shopping, gambling, engaging negatively with yourself or through sex and pornography, or just simply spending too much time on social media and your smartphone, maybe even over-exercising, and you can’t help yourself from repeating it , then it’s time to find yourself again, and rewire the pleasure centre of the brain. Also, not all habits are necessarily bad, if you have acquired any good ones (dependent on your social construct and your culture), and they are not adversely affecting you or those close to you.

So how does the machine work? The impulsive choice that occurs is reinforced by the “drug of choice” for pleasure and reward. You actually teaching the brain to anticipate that is going to get a reward from something, so while you will go through the pleasure experience, unfortunately once this fades, it is usually followed by a low or a regret, this could be around alcohol, drugs, food, sex with strangers, gambling, bullying, cuttings, the list is endless, and without judgement, people choose their dis-ease and dilemma's for various reasons.

When we complete the cycle of a trigger, craving, response and reward too many times, it changes the neurobiology and we start craving this “something” again so when you try and stop yourself, your brain (a child in this case) is not going to get what it wants, and it going to throw a tantrum because you have taught it that when there is a trigger it will be rewarded, if you stop, you may even go into withdrawal and will have to rinse and repeat to make upstairs (brain) and downstairs (body) manage an equilibrium for that round, but sooner or later the trigger is going to come around again. (Remember this applies to good habits as well).

Luckily when you learn to cognitively manage yourself, you can change anything in your life with the knowledge as a precursor to the experience. Contact if you have acquired any unhealthy habits or addictions that are becoming debilitating, it does not need to be so.

Contact to set up an appointment if you or your spouse are struggling with addictions.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page