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What Causes Addiction?

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What Causes Addictions? Photographee.eu/Fotolia

The pleasure from addictive substances and behaviors flood the brain with dopamine and other neurotransmitters. The overstimulation produces euphoric effects in response to the substances or behaviors. This then can form a pattern that encourages people to repeat using that substance or continuing that behavior.

Continual exposure to these addictive substances or behaviors cause nerve cells in the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex to expect those dopamine overloads. People then become addicted to the substance or behavior.

Furthermore, substance or behavioral addiction is directly linked to the speed in which dopamine is released, the intensity of that release, and the reliability of that release, wrote HelpGuide.org.

Put all of that together, then add in biology and environmental factors, and you have the causes of addiction.

Reviewed April 28, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited Jody Smith

"Understanding Addiction.": How Addiction Hijacks the Brain. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

"Addiction: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments." Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

"Drug Abuse and Addiction Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention Facts." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

Weiss, Rob. "This Is What ACTUALLY Causes Addiction." Mindbodygreen. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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