12 hours ago
Drugs & your Brain 🧠
Drugs are chemicals.
When someone puts these chemicals into their body, either by smoking, injecting, inhaling, or eating them, they tap into the brain’s communication system and tamper with the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information.
We know there are at least two ways drugs work in the brain. These are:
-Imitating the brain’s natural chemical messengers &
- Overstimulating the “reward circuit” of the brain
Some drugs, like marijuana and heroin, have chemical structures that mimic a neurotransmitter that naturally occurs in our bodies.
These drugs can “fool” our receptors, lock onto them, and activate the nerve cells. However, they don't work the same way as a natural neurotransmitter, and the neurons end up sending abnormal messages through the brain, which can cause problems both for our brains and our bodies.
Other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, cause nerve cells to release too much dopamine, a natural neurotransmitter, or prevent the normal recycling of dopamine.
This leads to exaggerated messages in the brain, causing problems with communication channels.
It’s like the difference between someone whispering in your ear versus someone shouting in a microphone.