Drug addiction is a chronic illness that affects the brain. It develops when a person is no longer able to live normally without taking a particular drug. Drugs that people abuse often include alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, opiate, marijuana, ketamine, amphetamine, hallucinogen and heroine. Each of these drugs affects the reward system of the brain.
How people become addicted to drugs
People become addicted to drugs when doing either of these things.
1. Numbing and reducing pain – Some people take drugs to numb pain. Opiates are good examples of drugs that are medically used to treat pain; however, they are so addictive. Opiates provoke opiate receptors in different sections of the …show more content…
Those who fancy alcohol drink it. Cocaine users buy it in a powder form on the streets and then snort it. Sometimes they administer it with heroin, as heroin enters the bloodstream and brain very quickly. Smoking cocaine when it is in form of crack cocaine is popular too. When dissolved in water, cocaine powder can be injected into the bloodstream as this is the fastest way to intoxicate the brain. Drugs that have aesthetic effects normally have a prescription. However, the patient may gradually develop a drug addiction because of the great deal of relaxation these drugs cause.
How drugs alter the brain
As aforementioned, different drugs change the way the brain works. In particular, they enter the limbic system (also called the reward system). This is the section of the brain that houses the communication network, and it has many neurons and neurotransmitters. Limbic system is responsible for the thrill and euphoria that drug abusers cannot get enough of.
The exact part that gets provoked by the drugs is the dopamine pathway (alternatively called the pleasure pathway) in the nucleus accumbens. After the drug reaches the brain, dopamine is released in high amounts and then it enters in tiny gaps that are between the brain neurons. Then when it stimulates the brain with the happy feelings, it gets out of the small gaps. A drug like cocaine, for instance, locks dopamine in-between the neurons, causing it to accumulate and extend the sweet, euphoric