Drugs And Its Effects On The Brain

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Many psychiatric and psychoactive drugs that are available on the market, pharmaceutically or illegally, closely resemble neurotransmitters and are actually able to mimic it to the extent that it fools the receptors. Basically, these drugs hijack the neurotransmitters. Once these drugs are ingested, it enters into the brain, gets into the synapse and binds itself to the receptor. This then causes the inappropriate release of neurotransmitters and alter the breakdown and recycling of neurotransmitters or can be used to destroy particular neurotransmitters completely (Sapolsky, 2005, p. 14). An individual’s behavior and emotion becomes chemically altered often resulting in dependency, aggression, onset of diseases and poor judgement. This poses a dangerous threat to the neurotransmitters since they have multiple jobs in different parts of the brain. Drugs of abuse are able to exert influence over the brain reward pathway either by directly influencing the action of dopamine within the system, or by altering the activity of other neurotransmitters that exert a modulatory influence over this pathway. These drugs are often powerful and have been known to trigger schizophrenic behavior and can also cause a person to cease breathing, for example hallucinogens such as LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin are able to artificially stimulate the serotonin receptor (Sapolsky, 2005). After a neurotransmitter molecule has been recognized by a post-synaptic receptor, it is
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