Drugs have a lot of effects on the brain. They affect three primary areas of the brain. One of them is the brain stem, which is in charge of all of the functions that our body needs to survive, such as, breathing, moving blood, and digesting food. It also links the brain with the spinal cord, which runs down the back, and moves muscles and limbs, as well as lets the brain know what is happening to the body. Another part of the brain that drugs affect is, the limbic system, which links together a bunch of brain structures, such as, someone feeling pleasure when they eat a food that they like to eat. Another part of the brain that drugs affect is, the cerebral cortex, which is the mushroom-shaped outer part of the brain. In humans, it is so big
Many of the effects that drugs can have on children are shocking. “More deaths, illnesses and disabilities stem from substance abuse than from any other preventable health condition. Today, one in four deaths is attributable to illicit drug use. People who live with substance dependence have a higher risk of all bad outcomes including unintentional injuries, accidents, risk of domestic violence, medical problems, and death”(Effects). On top of the injuries and illness there are health problems. Cardiovascular, organ failure, seizures and nausea are just a few common ones. Worst of all may be the effects that drugs have on the brain. The brain is where substance dependency, or addiction, sprouts from. Drugs cause chemical alterations on the brain which is why “euphoria” is often experienced. Though the high of the drug may be good for a while, it ultimately does its damage.
The drugs affect the brain by either increasing the amount of a neurotransmitter by activating the release of a neurotransmitter, or by inhibiting the release of a neurotransmitter, or by blocking the degradation of a neurotransmitter. This action depends on the type of drug used. All drugs activate the reward center of the brain. Virtually all drugs of abuse directly or indirectly augment dopamine in the reward pathway. The neurotransmitters involved in drug addictions are dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, Glutamate, and Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) plus endogenous opioids and cannabinoids. The standard functions of these neurotransmitters are regulating the pleasure and reward system, attention, mood, and memory. Dopamine
Ecstasy is both a hallucinogenic, causing hallucination, and a stimulant drug. Ecstasy is the name given to methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). It was first synthesized in 1912 by Merck chemist Anton Köllisch. Ecstasy appears to disturb the body 's ability to regulate its temperature and this can lead to serious problems with overheating of the body. Ecstasy can be swallowed as a pill or tablet or snorted like a powder. Users of ecstasy can experience a rush of good feelings, a high, and makes someone 's feelings much more intense, whether they 're good or bad feelings. Ecstasy’s effects usually last up to 6 hours.
Dr. Alan Leshner, PhD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “While every type of drug of abuse has its own individual trigger for affecting or transforming the brain, many of the results of the transformation are strikingly similar regardless of the addictive drug used.”
These chemicals can interfere with the process of brain cells communicating with each other. According to Dr. Marissa Merandez (2006), “Psychoactive drugs alter communications between brain cells. Individual brain cells (neurons) communicate with one another through a series of biological messengers called neurotransmitters.” The altered communications of these neurotransmitters is determined by the chemical in use. Psychoactive chemicals can tinker with these communications in many ways. “[Psychoactive chemicals] interfere with normal brain function by blocking it [neurotransmitter communication], or by altering the way neurotransmitters are stored, released, and removed...” (Marissa Merandez, 2006). Interfering with neurotransmitter communications and the distribution of neurotransmitters is what gives a psychoactive chemical its intended effects. The general groupings of these substances fall into either depressants, stimulants, opioids, and hallucinogens. Depressants diminish the activity of the central nervous system. Also, possible long term effects could result in changed brain function and structure, reduced mental capacity, and decreased brain volume. Stimulants increase the activity of the central nervous system, but risk abnormalities in specific regions of the brain, loss of some mental capacity,
Many people do not understand why individuals become addicted to drugs. The truth is drugs change the brain and cause repeated drug abuse. Drug addiction is a brain disease. Drug use leads to changes in the function and structure of the brain. Although it is true that for most people the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, over time, the changes in the
When taking amphetamine, users start to get anxious, tense and if they take a heavy dose over a long period of time, they get linked to the mental illness, psychosis. Some drugs, like cannabis, cause the user to become paranoid. Cocaine can cause extreme alertness, impaired judgment, impulsiveness, and compulsively repeated acts. Even though, cocaine is used to enhance the sex drive, the effect that it has on the receptors in the brain reduces the ability to feel pleasure, which eventually causes the dependency on the drug. Another drug that has a powerful effect on the body is Ritalin. Ritalin causes severe headaches, anxiety, paranoia and delusions. These are some of the psychological effects that drugs cause to the human body.
Addiction causes changes in the chemical makeup of the brain itself. Once the chemicals from the substance are introduced past the blood brain barrier the chemical reactions are changed. The neurons and neurotransmitters function a differently. Survival instincts that are the responsibility of the deeper recesses of the brain are changed. Cancer cells are changed by chemicals or radiation so too are
Methamphetamine stimulates different parts of the brain, as shown in figure 2 of a PET scan. In Figure 2 it reveals that a methamphetamine addict has various parts of their brain more stimulated than the control, and other section of their brain were not stimulated. Imaging studies have shown changes in the activity of the dopamine system that are associated with reduced motor skills and impaired verbal learning (NIH,2). Methamphetamine affects the parts of the brain that control judgment, reward and memory. In addition, methamphetamine has an effect on the reward system of the brain, which makes the user feel pleasure, which is normally felt through things such as eating, sex, and drinking. Furthermore, Methamphetamine affects the limbic
Drugs some use them to escape pain, others use them for pleasure, and some use them to just fit in. Either way drugs are a harmful substance that may seriously affect the body. Drugs mess with the brain in ways that we couldn’t even imagine. From destroying brain cells that help with critical thinking to destroying cells that give us the ability to feel pleasure. Drugs take the place of our natural body functions of the body. They fool receptors of the body and make it to where our bodies produce less of what we need. Over a period of time this may produce very severe consequences on the body. With all the risks involved with drugs it’s a wonder why some people use them.
Other drugs, such as amphetamine or cocaine, can cause the neurons to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters or prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals. This disruption produces a greatly amplified message, ultimately disrupting communication channels.
Drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and cannabis, are of natural or synthetic origin, which can alter the emotional state, perception, body functioning and behaviour of an individual. Drugs are known to work in the brain by activating certain brain circuits via different mechanisms, and stimulate or inhibit different neurons in the pathway. However, due to the effects of each drug being different, a drug will affect either different pathways and neurons in the brain to that of another, or through a different process, i.e. direct or indirect activity. This essay will discuss the different mechanisms of action that cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and
Have you ever dealt with the effects of drug addict? A drug is a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, which has a psychological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body. The effects of drug use can vary depending on the person. According to “Causes and types of narcotic addiction: A Psychosocial View” in the Psychiatric Quarterly it says, “The causes of drugs stem from the manner of which you were introduced to it whether it be by abnormal curiosity, chance encounters with addicts and narcotic peddlers, or prolonged illness” (Ausubel). The effects of drugs can be have different effects on everyone differently depending if its for pleasure or for relieving pain Most of the effects of drugs occur in the brain, where it increases the level of dopamine at a specific site possibly giving the addict the pleasure they were feigning for (Robbins). As a child I didn’t know much about drugs except for what your parents and teachers at school tell you which is, “Just Say No.”