How Does Drug Abuse Effect The Brain
|Home||Elderly Abuse||Elderly Care||Elderly Health||Elderly Law||Death & Mourning||Retirement|
Drug addiction is considered to a disease and also a brain disorder. When a person uses excessive amount of drugs they get addicted to it. Drugs can be consumed in the form of illegal drugs and prescription medications also. The brain and the body becomes dependant on drugs causing the addiction. The drugs also alter the chemicals in the brain. Some of the drugs used are sedatives, opiates, stimulants and also hallucinogens. Continuous use for a long time the drugs start having a pronounced effect on the brain. Sometimes the condition of the brain can be altered permanently.
Neurons are nerve cells that occupy most of the brain. They control several activities of the brain and body like movement, muscle contractions, memory, recognition and also emotions. Neurons are connected with each other and form a network. When the neurons are activated they release neurotransmitters which are chemicals. These chemicals travel through the network and then bind to proteins. The neurotransmitter acts on the type of protein it is binding with. The same neurotransmitter and have several different kind of effects.
Drugs which affect the brain usually change or alter the chemicals. Drugs can also cause the neurons to signal differently according to Drugabuse.gov. The activities of some drugs are very similar to the neurons itself. Marijuana and cocaine are some of the illicit drugs that do this. Some other drugs like dopamine activate the pleasure seeking system of the brain. They can cause a craving for the drug in a person and get them addicted to it fast. Due to continuous usage, these drugs will adjust the brain to get used to higher levels of neurotransmitters.
According to a report published by the Genetic Science Learning Center, continuous drug abuse can decrease the number of neurotransmitters in the brain. It also results in decrease signaling in the brain. If this happens, then more drugs are needed to regenerate the neurotransmitters. This is a condition that is known as tolerance. Basically, when a person reaches tolerance, it means that the brain has managed to adjust or compensate for the ill-effects of the drugs. The tolerance leads to another condition called dependence. When dependence occurs, a person will experience withdrawal symptoms of the drug.
The overall effects depend on the severity of the drug. The brain can reach a point where it will not work until it gets its daily quota of drugs. Eventually such conditions could lead to brain damage. The longer an individual is addicted to drugs, the longer it takes for the brain to repair itself and there are several other long-term effects to endure.
More Articles :
LiveStrong: How Do Drugs Affect The Human Brain