Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brain Chemical Breakdown

To understand why people continue to use drugs despite all horror stories and facts, it helps to understand what drugs do to our brain, as well as what happens to our brain when we stop using. 

Serotonin-Regulates sleep and appetite

Dopamine- The feel good chemical- Plays an important role in mood, energy, attitude, and motivation.

GABA- Acts as your calming neurotransmitter, helping you relax.

Acetylcholine- Handles processing information and memory. 

Drugs, narcotics, and especially opiates effect the distribution and regulation of each of these chemicals. 
Opiates trigger and enhance pleasure, increasing endorphin levels in the brain. The amount of endorphin's that flood in when an opiate is taken alerts our body. Imagine pumping gas into an already full tank. The gas will begin to overflow, and then cut off because it has been signaled to stop pumping. Much like our brains are signaled to produce less endorphin's because of the opiates power to flood our brain. Eventually our bodies will no longer make endorphin's because they are being provided through the narcotic source. 
If a person whose body has ceased endorphin production quits taking an opiate, the brain will essentially be depleted of 'happy chemicals'. 

The best way I can describe what this does emotionally to a person is to say that I felt not only numb, but void of any feeling. An empty soul unable to smile, and unable to understand why. 

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