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Effects of Drugs on Neurotransmitters (Brain)

Drugs abuse causes alteration of feelings, thoughts and behavior by disrupting the signaling process between brain cells. Evaluating the experiences of drug users provides insight on the neurotransmission processes altered by drug abuse. Each neuron produces neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine to ensure effective communication throughout the body. The influence of the neurotransmitter on an individual’s experience depends on its spread in the brain’s functional areas. An analysis of the distribution of dopamine in the brain indicates high concentrations of the transmitter in regions of the brain that control aspects relating to human motivation and feelings of reward. The use of drugs containing dopamine influences compulsive behaviors as evident among drug users and in environments such as workplaces and schools. While some drugs affect a particular neurotransmitter, others affect multiple neurotransmitters. Behavioral changes, such as such as euphoria, among cocaine addicts occur because the compound attaches itself to structures that control dopamine activity. Cocaine affects other neurotransmitters such as nor-epinephrine and glutamate, which have stimulating effects. The high interconnectivity of neurons increases secondary effects of drugs regarding the stimulation inhibition of cells. The general increase in compulsive behavior among most drug users clearly demonstrates the inhibiting effects of drugs. The secondary effects of nicotine arise due to the stimulation of glutamate, which increase neuron activity in the brain. Neurotransmission occurs through different stages involving the interaction of diverse components. The impacts of drugs in altering neurotransmission depend on the stage at which the disruption occurs.

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