DREXEL PSY 310 - NIDA (7 pages)

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NIDA



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NIDA

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Pages:
7
School:
Drexel University
Course:
Psy 310 - Drugs & Human Behavior

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NIDA NIDA s mission is to bring the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction Slide 1 The National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA is part of the National Institutes of Health and is dedicated to bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction When a person first thinks about trying drugs it is usually a voluntary decision Maybe I should see what it s like just this once you might think Or a friend dares you Or you just want to feel good or forget your troubles Most drugs of abuse including nicotine alcohol marijuana cocaine and heroin activate a part of the brain called the reward system and that makes you feel good Drug abuse has serious consequences The most serious consequence is that prolonged drug use can change the brain in fundamental and long lasting ways Eventually it becomes difficult to derive pleasure from other normal activities such as sports food or sex After repeated drug use you reach a point when deciding to use drugs is no longer voluntary Scientists have proof now that drugs literally change your brain It s as if a switch goes off in the brain It is during this transformation process that a drug abuser becomes a drug addict Addiction is a chronic relapsing disease characterized by compulsive often uncontrollable drug seeking and drug use in the face of negative consequences Drug addicts need professional help and treatment to help them cope with these changes and possibly change the brain back to normal Slide 2 The brain is the most complex organ in the body The brain is made up of a complex network of billions of nerve cells called neurons as well as other kinds of cells all protected by the skull The typical brain weighs only about 3 pounds but it is the source of most qualities that make you who you are Neurons in the brain and spinal cord are part of the nervous system and act as a body s Command Central The brain is constantly active even when we are asleep As a matter of fact asleep or awake the brain requires 20



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