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how drugs affect the brain

Your Brain on Drugs The brain has great power, directing all of the body's processes. But it does have a weakness-drugs of abuse. When they enter neurological territory, all goes haywire. First, Let's Get It Straight Addiction is a disease. Long-term drug use makes the brain malfunction. The Targets There are 3 primary areas of the brain that drug use affects: Cerebral cortex Controls thought, planning, problem-solving, decision-making. Doesn't fully develop until age 25, so drug damage in youth is even more devastating. Brain stem Controls basic functions like breathing, heart rate, circulation, digestion. Lémbic system Controls pleasure and rewards. The Brain's 4 Lobes Control Different Processes: Parietal sensation, reading and writing Occipital vision Frontal reasoning, judgment, voluntary muscle movement, speech Temporal hearing, smell, word meaning How Brain Cells Talk to Each Other Neurons 100 billion nerve cells that make up the brain. Normal Function Neurotransmitters transmit messages and then are removed when the message is complete. Receptors Receiing Neuron Sites on neurons where neurotransmitters attach to send their message. (Receptors and neurotransmitters are like locks and keys-they must fit.) Neurotransmitters Substances that transmit messages between neurons. Transporters Return neurotransmitters when the message is complete. Transmitting Neuron Brain, Meet Drug eapioς Too Many Neurotransmitters Drugs like cocaine or meth make the brain release too many neurotransmitters like dopamine or don't let the Neurotransmitters Dopamine transporters recycle neurotransmitters. Receiring Neuron Transmitting Neuron Cocaine Transporters Blocking transporter Receptors Receiring Neuron Marijuana mimicking neurotransmitters Transporters Neurotransnitters Dopamine Drugs Instead of Neurotransmitters Drugs like marijuana or heroin fool the brain into thinking they're neurotransmitters. They attach to receptors, but then the drugs relay abnormal messages. Transmitting Neuron How Addiction Happens Dopamine The brain naturally produces a certain amount of dopamine some dopamine receptors. The in response to pleasurable person takes more drugs, even activities like eating or sex. though the brain is not responding the same way. This increased tolerance lessens the ability to get high. Then conditioning and memory take over and produce cravings for the drug, even though the high is not the same. Sources http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/spring07/articles/spring07pg14-17.html Home Of Hope http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/science-addiction/drugs-brain http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drag-facts/brain-and-addiction Recovery Center Where there's Hope there's Life http://www.scholastic.com/smp/pdfs/nida/NIDA11-INSI_TE.pdf http://www.csuchico.edu/~pmccaffrey/syllabi/CMSD%20320/362unit4.html http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/nih2/addiction/guide/lesson3-1.htm http:hopeeg.com

how drugs affect the brain

shared by naderya on Dec 10
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Almost all drugs that change the way the brain works do so by affecting chemical neurotransmission

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