Most people try drugs the first time because of peer pressure and not having the strength to say no, others is because they want to try new things and be cool with a certain group of kids at school. All it takes sometimes is one time, one pull, and one session for someone to get hooked to a certain drug and be an addict. Drug addiction has a deep impact on the brain that can cause the inability to learn, make good judgment, and alters vision and memory. Addiction is chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her. (National Institute on Drug Abuse) The components of drug addiction are endless. They usually contain chemicals that tap into the brain’s communication system and disrupt the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. The
Brain chemistry can affect different addicts more then others. Drugs and alcohol are more of the main addictions that brain chemistry affects. Once taking these addictive substances your internal natural drug dopamine is lowers causing you to seek more external addictive substances. This causes craving and makes it a lot harder for the addict to stop. In Olds and Milner’s later experiments, they allowed the rats to press a particular lever to arouse themselves, to the effect that they would press it as much as seven-hundred times per hour. This region soon came to be known as the "pleasure center". Using drugs and alcohol stimulates the pleasure center in the brain that makes your brain think, “feels good- want more“. This can make it increasingly harder for an addict to stop using, until they hit a point called “rock bottom”. This is where choice comes back into play.
All around the world anyone can find people that are addicted to some form of drug. Drug addiction is a huge issue that has been occurring for about thirty years now and is occurring to this day for many reasons. Some of those reasons may be that something is going on back home and they have had enough, or because of stress, peer pressure, biological reasons and the list goes on. However, there has been law enforcement due to drugs since the mid 1980’s. People have many viewpoints to when it comes to drug use and addiction. There are three perspectives people have that view the use of drugs and drug addiction which are structural functionalism, conflict, and symbolic interactionist.
There are many models and theories which attempt to explain the causes of substance misuse and dependence. They range from those which highlight the importance of genetic and biological factors to those which stress social and psychological factors and those which may consider the ‘blame’ to be that of the dependent individual (Rassool 2009).
Addicts use drugs to overcome their feelings. If an addict is feeling sad, happy, or angry, they use. This leads to their addictions. After a while, the addict can’t hold a steady job,
According to the biological perspective, drug use may start off as casual, but through continued use, it produces changes in the brain that influences the onset and maintenance of drug addiction. (Horvath et al., 2013). Drugs have their most prominent effects on the function of neurotransmitters. Almost all major drugs of abuse activate the reward system and cause a flood in the levels of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter that is involved in pleasure. As a result, not only do people learn to associate drug use with pleasure, but the brain also starts to reduce its own natural dopamine production in adjustment to the levels of dopamine produced by the drugs. This is called tolerance, and the consequences of tolerance are highly influential
Brain chemistry is a detailed system that helps the brain to interact with the chemicals that moves important around the brain. Brain chemistry changes depending on what substance or how much of the substance is used. These changes can indicate signs of the beginning of an addiction over time if the drug use begins to get worst it can lead to dramatic changes in the brains over all chemistry. This example supports the theory of brain change ”‘when we elevated levels of ΔFosB in the NAc, the mice exhibited behaviors that are considered reliable indicators that exposing people to the same conditions would cause addiction: They showed more sensitivity to the drug (responded to doses one-third those required to produce a response in normal animals), self-administered more drug, and displayed greater drive (or craving) for cocaine (they worked two to three times as hard to get the drug) ().” The opposing side stated this as their disagreement “human psychology is simply the reflection of human neurophysiology. Thus, for instance, although the authors claim that their account of addiction is relatively 'skeptical,' and has less explanatory power than that of their opponents, they nevertheless seem to accept at least the possibility of a complete account, which will only come about as a result of 'further advances in biological and psychological science (Foxcroft, L. J.
The body, through tolerance, becomes accustomed to the effects of the drug causing a change in the functioning of the reward center in the brain. Neurotransmitters in the brain, at this point, do not function normally and the body “needs” the drug to achieve balance within the system.
Across all addictions, there is a central theory as to how such an addiction can occur. The common mechanism of all addictive substances is the activation of the brain’s “reward system”, made up of dopaminergic neurons of the midbrain and their extensions to the limbic system (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3272277/). This system is normally used in advancing evolutionary fitness promoting activity, such as sex, food, or social interactions (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3272277/). In such normal natural behaviors, the reward system activity is relatively brief and weak. However, addictive substances abuse the system’s circuitry, causing
Drug addiction is a brain disease because drugs change the brain’s structure and how they work. Over a period of time drugs start to affect the brain by challenging an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. “Most drugs affect the brain's reward circuit by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. This overstimulation of the reward circuit causes the intensely pleasurable "high" that leads people to take a drug again and again. Over time, the brain adjusts to the excess dopamine, which reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug, trying to achieve the same dopamine high.”, States National Institute on Drug Abuse. After long term use of drugs it affects functions such as learning, judgment, decision-making, stress, memory, and behavior. Even though an addict knows this, they still use
the brain, flooding it with the neurotransmitter dopamine. This produces euphoria, and the heightened pleasure can be so compelling that the brain wants that feeling back again and again. Unfortunately, with repeated use of a drug, the brain becomes accustomed to the dopamine surges by producing less of it. So the user has to take more of the drug to feel the same pleasure — the phenomenon known as tolerance.
While the choice to use alcohol and drugs is initially voluntary, alcohol and/or drug addiction arises because the normal functioning of the brain is impaired so that alcoholism and drug addiction become a “chronic relapsing disease of the brain” (National Institute of Drug Abuse, Drugs, Brains and Behavior. The Science of Addiction. 2014, 5). Drugs impact the pathways of the brain by flooding the circuit with dopamine, which disturbs and distorts normal communication between the brain’s neurons. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain which regulates movement, emotion, motivation and feelings of pleasure. Over stimulating the system with drugs produces euphoric effects which strongly reinforce the behavior of drug use teaching the user to repeat drug use. Continuing alcohol and drug use despite the adverse consequences of such use results in abusers experiencing some or all of the following symptoms: mental stress, impulsive behavior, anger, disorganized thinking, poor coping skills, inadequate decision making and inflexible cognitive response patterns.
Addictive drugs cause dopamine neurons to release dopamine, the pleasure hormone. The narcotics disable the neurons that would usually keep the dopamine neurons in check; becoming over stimulated. Endorphins are produced and released within the brain, creating a high and reinforcing the individual’s positive associations with the activity. Hence “the rush” (Molintas, 2006)
“The overstimulation of this reward system, which normally responds to natural behaviors linked to survival (eating, spending time with loved ones, etc.), produces euphoric effects in response to psychoactive drugs. This reaction sets in motion a reinforcing pattern that “teaches” people to repeat the rewarding behavior of abusing drugs ”(“Understanding Drug Abuse). Using addictive drugs floods the limbic brain with dopamine, taking it up to as much as five or ten times the normal level. A person with elevated dopamine levels now has a brain that begins to associate the substance with an outside neurochemical reward (“Your Brain on Drugs”). As a person continues to abuse drugs, the brain adapts to the overwhelming surges in dopamine by producing less dopamine or by reducing the number of dopamine receptors in the reward circuit. The result is a lessening of dopamine’s impact on the reward circuit, which reduces the abuser’s ability to enjoy the drugs, as well as the events in life that previously brought pleasure. The decrease in normal dopamine levels encourages the addict to keep abusing drugs in an attempt to bring the dopamine function back to normal, except now larger amounts of the drug are required to achieve the same dopamine high, an effect known as tolerance (“Understanding Drug Abuse ). That is what leads to the state of addiction, which leaves the person in a cycle of craving, using, withdrawal, and relapse.
The complexity of the human brain creates mystery when determining the influence of neurophysiological factors and their role in the process of addiction. There is a proposed relationship between drug addiction and the mesolimbic dopamine system, with the mesolimbic pathway from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens considered the ‘reward centre’ of the human brain (Alcohol Rehab, 2011). A release of dopamine is necessary for ‘reward’ which is hypothesised to initiate the addiction cycle by providing positive reinforcement for drug self-administration (Feltenstein & See, 2009). Methamphetamine triggers the release of dopamine from synaptic vesicles which flood the synaptic cleft activating feelings of euphoria, well-being