Drug addiction and abuse can be prevented. Research has shown that prevention programs that involve families, schools, and communities can help reduce drug abuse. It is important for the youth and general public to understand the real risks of drug abuse and addiction. Community leaders must spread the message that drug addiction can be prevented if a person never abuses drugs.

Drugs tap into your brain’s, communication system and interferes with the way nerve cells send, receive, and analyze information. Drugs interfere in two distinct way manners. The first way is by imitating the brain’s natural chemical messenger, and the second way is by over stimulating the reward portion of the brain. Drugs like heroin and marijuana maintain structure that is similar to that of normal, chemical messengers.

Drug Abuse and Addiction – Rerouting the Brain

These chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters and are naturally produced by the brain. Because of their similar structure, the drugs can fool the brain and cause nerve cells to transmit abnormal messages. Other drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine can cause nerves to send huge amounts of natural neurotransmitters. These drugs can also prevent the normal recycling of brain chemicals which is a major disadvantage to using them because the chemicals are needed to shut off the signal between neurons.

Most drugs target the brain’s reward center with floods of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine controls movement, emotion, and motivation and makes the brain respond to automatic behaviors that are linked to living such as eating and spending time with a loved one. When this system is over stimulated, it produces joyous effects in response to the drugs.

To repeat this pattern of joy, people repeatedly abuse drugs, and the brain becomes accustomed to these dopamine influxes and eventually reduces the normal of natural dopamine receptors in the brain. When this decrease occurs, it becomes harder and harder for the user to reach a euphoric state. In an attempt to get back to “heaven”, the person who suffers from drug abuse and addiction will keep using drugs. Over time, the brain’s chemical system is altered by long term abuse. Cognitive function is sometimes lost, and the person is no longer able to function in a reasonable manner.

This is why it is so vital that communities speak out against drug abuse and addiction. People with drug addictions are rarely successful without help, and if we don’t help these people today, none of us may be here tomorrow.

Drug Abuse


Author's Bio: 

One of the largest and most successful drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in the world.