How Drug Tolerance Works – Why You Need More & More

October 24, 2016 - - 0 Comments

Drug ToleranceAnybody who has used or abused any addictive substance can likely tell you that the effects grow weaker the longer they are used.  This is the phenomenon known as tolerance builds up over time and plays a significant factor in transforming a casual to moderate user into a serious addict.  An increasing or high tolerance on the path to full-blown addiction and is a reliable sign that it is time to start seeking drug addiction treatment.

What Happens?

The basic principle of tolerance is that any particular drugs effectiveness decreases with persistent use.  This happens because biology says that even basic living things, such as cells, can build a resistance towards many different drugs.

The human body is a very adaptable and incredible machine.  It knows how it should run and when there is a serious imbalance, such as the effects of a particular drug, it does it’s best to correct it.  This happens in short time spans but becomes much more pronounced over longer periods.  When there is chronic use, the brain adapts and the body gets defensive over these state altering chemicals and reduces the number of receptors the drug has access to.  This is a basic explanation and any drug addiction treatment center can offer more in-depth detail and specifics.

Advanced Tolerance

Over long periods of usage, the body has become more and more efficient at blocking the drugs.  And their entry into the body has become so commonplace that the brain has actually rewired the way it works, incrementally creating new baselines that require greater and greater doses to get the same high.  When tolerance is extreme, the new baseline is that the brain’s receptors become so dulled, that using the drug simply brings the person back to normal.  This is commonly called being “strung out”, and if a person has reached this stage, they need treatment for drug addiction.

The Dangers of Tolerance

Tolerance is the enemy of the addict is one of the primary reasons for overdoses and fatalities.  Just because you are taking more to feel it, it doesn’t mean that it is doing any less damage to your body.  For example, heroin is a muscle relaxant.  Without an established tolerance, you can feel its effects immediately, have your high, and don’t need any more.  However, with an advanced tolerance in place, you have to take a lot more, which relaxes the muscles in the heart so much that it simply stops beating and you die.  All in the name of getting the same feeling as the last time you used.  Noticing this pattern can save your life, either by seeking drug addiction treatment or entering a drug addiction treatment center, which is recommended.  At its height, tolerance causes basic bodily functions to stop working.

Withdrawal and Recovery

Treatment for drug addiction can help with tolerance, which makes physical withdrawal symptoms severe.  Addicts are generally familiar with the feeling of not being high and many times, the discomfort can become so severe, that they will do anything to get high again.  There also exists a serious psychological state as well, a well-founded fear of the discomfort that is coming if they are unable to score.  The tolerance has caused a major shift in the emotional state of the person, who now possesses changed beliefs and priorities.

Once the addict stops, the brain starts to reconfigure itself.  The longer the usage was for, the longer it takes.  Many times, it will improve, but not fully recover.  If you are concerned for yourself, or for a loved one, urge them to seek drug addiction treatment to remove the tolerance and the difficult physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms.   The body is truly amazing, and with help, you can recover.

His and Her Houses offers industry leading  Drug Addiction Treatment Programs. We were founded in 1994 and we base our Drug Addiction Treatment programs on five key principles: commitment, honesty, integrity, respect, and service. These five principles guide us in all that we do and all the care we provide. Contact us today to see how we can help you or your loved one at (888) 376-7268.

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