The Effects of Drugs of Abuse on the Brain
Most drugs of abuse target the brain’s reward system, whether directly or indirectly. These substances flood the reward system with dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates movement, emotion, motivation and feelings of pleasure. Dopamine is naturally activated during exercise, when a person smells good food, during sexual activities and other pleasurable events.
How Drugs and Alcohol Interact with Dopamine
When dopamine is artificially overstimulated through drug and alcohol abuse, it produces euphoric effects. These strongly reinforce the behavior of abuse, and make the user more inclined to use again.
It alters he brain stem’s neuro-chemical activity that regulates breathing and beating of the heart illustration of a human brain to show how drugs and alcohol interact with Dopamine.
Modified the limbic system’s controls over the emotions and feelings illustration of a human spinal cord to show how drugs and alcohol interact with Dopamine.
Hinders pain signals generated by the spinal cord.
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