Addiction Science Introduction & Menu
Why are drugs so rewarding that people spend tens of billions of dollars on them every year, risking imprisonment, addiction and overdose? The answer lies in the way drugs manipulate neurons at the molecular and cellular levels.
In order to understand drugs’ affect on the brain, we provide an overview of brain functions: how the brain seeks homeostasis, or balance; the Limbic System, the brain structure responsible for feeling pleasure that’s manipulated by addictive drugs; brain cells, or neurons and neurotransmitters, their means of communication; learned versus emotional memories and their role in addiction; why the brain is inherently susceptible to addiction, and how addiction is defined.
Genetic and environmental components of addiction are outlined, as is the evidence that there are non-drug addictions like gambling and shopping.