Drugs are made of several chemicals that each have a distinct effect on the the brain. Drugs alter the way our brains work–it disrupts the normal functions of our nerve cells.
Generally, drugs affect your brain in four ways:
- imitate our brain’s natural chemical messengers–the neurotransmitters
- over-stimulating the “reward” system or “pleasure point” of our brain
- flooding our brain with excess neurochemicals
- binding itself to the receptors of our brain
How Do You Get The “High”
Some drugs, such as marijuana and heroin are similarly structured to neurotransmitters, which are natural chemicals produced by our brain. These drugs fool our brain’s receptors and activate nerve cells, which in turn send messages that produce the “high” that these drugs are known for.
Meanwhile, other drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine, flood the brain with natural neurotransmitters, which amplify stimulation, resulting to a different kind of high.
People get addicted to these drugs because these drugs target the brain’s reward system, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure or euphoria. This system normally responds to our needs such as eating and socialization, which are essential to our survival. Regular use of these drugs trigger these feelings of pleasure and reward, which then sets in motion a pattern that makes them repeatedly take drugs because of its desirable effects. Eventually, they repeated behavior becomes a dependence and then a compulsion. It is during this stage of compulsion that they become addicted and have uncontrollable cravings, especially when they see a person or place associated with the drug experience.
Moreover, as people use these drugs, they develop tolerance, in which they would require larger doses than they first did to achieve the high that they want.
Overtime, drugs alter the functions of the brain such as:
- learning and memory
- behavior control
This is why those who are addicted to drugs continue to take drugs despite negative consequences to their health, family, career, and life.
If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, seek help today. Call or text