How Drugs Affect the Brain's Work

by Ethan Chandler and Zach Hood

Messages are sent in the brain by neurotransmitters at connections between neurons called synapses. Drugs change the way the neurons communicate with each other. These drugs do this by acting like a neurotransmitter, blocking neurotransmitter, or by changing the amount of neurotransmitters at a synapse. The amount of neurotransmitters at a synapse determines our mood. Since drugs can change the amount of neurotransmitters at a synapse, drugs can affect our mood.

The Path to Addiction

People sometimes use drugs repeatedly after experimenting with drugs. Experimenting with drugs often leads to a more repeated use of drugs. One of the first developments in the drug addiction process is drug tolerance- the increased use of a drug when the user finds it takes more of a drug to experience the feel the same effect when the user first used the drug. After repeated drug use, the drug user experiences uncomfortable withdraw symptoms when he or she tries to stop using the drug in a phase called dependence. In the final phase in the path of addiction, called addiction, the drug user has lost control of his or her drug taking habits.

Here are some common behavioral warning signs of addiction:

-Loss of interest in school work

-Dramatic change of appearance

-Change of friends

-Unexplained mood swings

-Absences from school

-Dramatic changes in eating habits

-Excessive secretiveness or lying

-Unexplained need for money

Withdraw is the uncomfortable physical and psychological symptoms produced when a physically dependent drug user stops taking drugs.

Drug addiction can be treated through a number of ways like rehab centers in an addicts communities, like Free Kentucky Rehab Center located in Ashland, Ky(1-800-780-2294) and Newport KY Outpatient substance Abuse Center in Newport, Ky (1-859-491-6510).