When talking about drug abuse, people usually focus on dopamine. It’s the body’s feel-good neurotransmitter. However, many chemicals also target serotonin. When trying to figure out how to increase serotonin, some people fall victim to chemical dependency.
Dopamine vs. Serotonin
Did you know that exercise increases dopamine? The same goes for a satisfying meal or sex. Drugs acting on the brain seek to create a dopamine glut. It results in a feeling of euphoria.
Good examples are opioids that lead to the euphoric high. Illegal, dangerous, but effective methods to increase serotonin include substance abuse, too. Instead of the euphoric high, figuring out how to increase serotonin with a pill or shot has other effects. It changes the way you process information and experience emotions.
Cannabis, cocaine, and alcohol are the types of substances that stimulate serotonin production. During a holistic therapy program at MRC, therapists routinely work with people who fell victim to addiction. They kept taking a specific drug to continue experiencing a serotonin high. Many people struggle with polysubstance abuse.
How to Increase Seratonin during Rehab
When you decide to quit abusing drugs or alcohol, you temporarily experience withdrawal symptoms. They include a reduction in the brain’s serotonin levels. It’s one of the reasons why people keep using drugs. They’re afraid of what it feels like when they quit.
However, there are effective methods to increase serotonin without the abuse of chemicals. It all starts during detox. When you present with low serotonin levels, psychiatrists typically diagnose you with the condition. By using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), it’s possible to regain equilibrium faster.
At rehab, you collaborate with therapists to continue this trend. Possible care approaches include:
- Behavioral counseling as a way to cope with stress, sadness, and other emotions in healthy ways
- Cognitive behavioral therapy that empowers you to react to specific stimuli with appropriate responses
- Family therapy as a tool for allowing loved ones to become support network participants for you
- Dual diagnosis treatment, which focuses on the management of underlying co-occurring conditions
- Nutritional counseling that encourages a return to a healthy lifestyle and gives you the tools to do so
Continue Healing after Rehab
Rehab’s only the beginning of your recovery journey. It continues long after program graduation. The majority of participants like the idea of stepping down care gradually. It maintains a connection with the facility. Besides that, it acts as a safety net if you experience problems. Next, there are support group meetings in the community. Examples include 12 Step and similar gatherings. They offer peer mentoring and accountability.
By combining the two, you have the best odds of protecting your new sobriety. Of course, before you can get there, you have to enroll in rehab. It’s tempting to put it off. You think you can handle things on your own.
However, deep down, you know that you need help. Addiction’s a condition that won’t get better on its own. Besides that, there’s no need to wait for the mythical rock-bottom moment that’ll turn everything around. You can reach out for help right now.
Now that you know how to increase serotonin during acute and post-acute withdrawal, it’s time to quit abusing drugs. You don’t need them to feel normal. At Memphis Recovery, caring therapists routinely work with good people just like you. Call 866.304.8254 right now while you’re thinking about it!