By Vatsal Thakkar
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Extra resources for Addiction (Psychological Disorders)
If someone in your family has had trouble with addiction, you are at a higher risk to develop it yourself, compared with a person who has no family history of addiction. The same is true for many medical diseases like heart disease and cancer, which makes a compelling argument that addiction is related to genetic background. Identical (monozygotic) twins share the same DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid; the genetic material), whereas fraternal 25 26 Addiction (dizygotic) twins usually only share half of their genes with their twin.
Any foreign drug introduced into the body will activate biological mechanisms that try to counteract the effect of the drug. One of the ways the brain does this is to up-regulate or down-regulate receptors. Let’s say a neuron has 50 receptors on its surface for molecule X, and that molecule X is hard to come by. All 50 of those receptors are just sitting and waiting for molecule X to come along. Now imagine that, suddenly, there is a lot more of molecule X than usual around the neuron, and it stays there.
Different neurotransmitters are active in different parts of the brain and have different functions. All drugs that are used to alter perceptions, states of consciousness, or moods act on the brain. These include things such as caffeine, prescription medications, and illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin. The actions of these drugs occur at the molecular level. A biologically active drug exerts its influence over some bodily organ, function, or process. All of the organs and tissues Types of Neurotransmitters (NT): E=excitatory; I=Inhibitory Norepinephrine—E; provides the “zest for life”; it is responsible for energy, drive, motivation, and creativity Serotonin—E; involved in mood and anxiety regulation, as well as body temperature, sleep, appetite, and sexual function Dopamine—E and I; involved in mood regulation and experiencing pleasure Other neurotransmitters in the human brain include acetylcholine, glutamate, glycine, and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).
Addiction (Psychological Disorders) by Vatsal Thakkar