- Effects Of Drugs On The Central Nervous System
- Treatment For Addiction To Multiple Drugs
- Autonomic Nervous System: What It Is, Function & Disorders
- Central Nervous System (cns) Depressants
Effects Of Drugs On The Central Nervous System – There are several physical and mental changes that occur in the body when someone uses drugs. All drugs, including methamphetamine, cocaine, prescription painkillers, and all others, cause chemicals to be released in abnormal patterns in the brain. The effects of drugs on the brain are both immediate and long-lasting, especially with continued substance abuse.
At BlueCrest Recovery, we have years of experience helping people addicted to drugs and alcohol recover their lives through evidence-based holistic treatment methods. Our New Jersey drug addiction treatment program provides comprehensive care to those in need. If you or a loved one is struggling to stop using drugs, call 888.292.9652 now for help.
Effects Of Drugs On The Central Nervous System
The brain is made up of different centers that control different bodily functions, enable thought and reasoning, elicit emotional responses, and more. Three of the primary brain centers that drugs can affect include:
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The limbic system is often referred to as the reward center of the brain. It is responsible for making people feel pleasure when they eat, socialize or have sex. It also affects emotional responses to help people distinguish between positive emotions, such as joy, and negative ones, such as sadness.
The brain remembers what types of activities bring pleasure and make individuals feel happy. In a way, it encourages them to repeat these types of behaviors and avoid those that create negative responses.
The cerebral cortex helps people process and interpret information from different sources using the senses of sight, smell, taste, sound and touch. For example, you accidentally touch a hot burner, and the cerebral cortex interprets this action as painful, because you burned your hand. Conversely, touching something soft and warm can be interpreted as welcoming and kind.
The frontal cortex, located at the front of the cerebral cortex, is where all thinking and thinking processes take place. This part of the brain helps people reason, make decisions, solve problems, determine the risks and rewards of different behaviors and actions, and communicate with others.
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The brainstem is responsible for performing many of the body’s autonomic responses, such as breathing, keeping people’s hearts beating, and so on. It also serves as a gateway between the other parts of the brain and the body by transmitting signals and information to/from the brain through the central nervous system.
Drug abuse and addiction is a learned behavior reinforced by the effects of drugs on the brain. Certain parts of the brain can be taught to remember what makes someone feel good and is considered pleasant and what is not. The brains of people with addiction have learned that using different types or combinations of drugs brings them pleasure.
The first time a person takes a drug, it can cause a number of different types of short-term effects. When the drug is introduced into the body, it interferes with the normal functions of the brain. Certain types of drugs can mimic natural neurotransmitters and cause the brain to activate different hormones and neurons.
Many types of drugs confuse the reward center in the brain and lead to a large release of dopamine. Dopamine is a natural chemical that many people associate with pleasure. However, it is also a chemical that stimulates the brain in anticipation of a reward.
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For example, smoking marijuana can cause an increase in the release of dopamine, which can make you feel relaxed and at ease. Because it creates pleasure, the brain remembers this response, leading to the urge to smoke marijuana again.
However, because this drug affects the brain’s neurotransmitters and dopamine release, it also affects the senses. The sight or smell of marijuana can lead to an increase in dopamine release based on the anticipated “reward” one will experience when actually smoking marijuana. So simply seeing or smelling marijuana could cause a pleasurable response in the brain.
On the other hand, if people take a drug and get sick and vomit, their brains will associate this with an unpleasant event. If they had a really negative response, then they might not be as inclined to use the drug again.
Because of the complexity that drugs have on the brain, certain drugs can have both positive and negative effects. If the positive effects outweigh the negative, then a person will be more likely to use the drug again.
How Does Alcohol Affect The Central Nervous System?
For example, you and your friends go out drinking and consume large amounts of alcohol. As you get more intoxicated, someone asks you if you want to try some cocaine, and you agree. After taking cocaine, you start throwing up. However, a short time later, there is a significant release of dopamine, resulting in a feeling of euphoria.
Even if you threw up, your brain will remember the euphoria you felt. As a result, your brain will “encourage” you to seek that feeling again in the future. In addition, certain types of drugs can create such strong positive responses in the body – sometimes a person becomes addicted after using the drug once.
In addition to the “rewards” you may experience from using the drug, there are other short-term effects it may have on your brain, including:
Based on the results we experience, if these are mostly interpreted by the brain as positive “rewards”, this will further emphasize the likelihood of using drugs again.
How Drugs Affect The Brain & Central Nervous System
Long-term drug use is developed from stimulation of the brain’s reward center. Whenever this part of the brain results in pleasure, it automatically remembers this and indirectly teaches one to repeat the same behavior or activity again to achieve the same results.
Some drugs can cause the brain to release excess levels of dopamine, higher than what is naturally experienced from things it likes. In many cases, release begins to occur immediately after taking the medication. Depending on the drug taken, the effects can be prolonged for hours.
Drug abuse is a behavior that people will quickly learn when experiencing heightened states of pleasure. Initially, when someone begins to use and abuse drugs, they may feel that they are constantly being “rewarded” because there are other chemical processes at work in the brain.
The brain is not able to keep up with the production of dopamine because it is quickly depleted every time a person uses it. Naturally, the brain responds by slowing dopamine production, as it interprets increased levels during drug use as an overdose. Second, the brain will begin to numb the receptors in the brain that can interpret “pleasure” signals.
Treatment For Addiction To Multiple Drugs
In addition, long-term drug use can change the way different centers in the brain work. As the brain tries to compensate for continued drug use, cognitive functions can become impaired. The brain can also become conditioned to certain cues that can trigger one’s desire to take and use drugs. Drug users may even begin to notice that they have problems with their short-term memories.
The longer a person continues to use and abuse drugs, there are increased risks of heart attacks, stroke, brain damage, seizures, coma, and even death. In addition to long-term effects on the brain, drug abuse can affect the kidneys, heart, lungs, and other organs and systems in the body.
Once a person is addicted to drugs, it is difficult to stop without the help of an addiction treatment center. The effect of drugs on the human brain can remain for years after you get help and stop using drugs. This is one of the reasons people in recovery continue to go to group counseling and support meetings.
If you have started using drugs or have a drug or alcohol addiction and want help overcoming your addiction, BlueCrest Recovery is here to help. Please feel free to contact us today at 888.292.9652 to take the first steps toward recovery.
Autonomic Nervous System: What It Is, Function & Disorders
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