By: Royd Guyon
Drugs are substances that change how your body works like pills, syrup, drops, sprays, and injections. There are substances that are illegal like cocaine, crack, heroin, or methamphetamines. Some legal substances are out there and you can find them in a store, but if used in the wrong way it is harmful. For example, some people inhale substances like glue, gas from a car, paint from a hardware store. These drugs can make a person hyper, damage their heart and lungs, and other important organs inside their body.
With long-term drug abuse, the brain physically changes, the brain shrinks, and its ability to process information is affected. A part of the brain called the limbic system which supports a variety of functions including emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction is affected.
When someone takes drugs, the limbic system emits dopamine, the substance that makes us feel good; with prolonged drug abuse the brain stops making as much dopamine as it used to. As a result, the brain’s reward system receives very little input and the person has a hard time experiencing pleasure of any kind.
That’s why many drug abusers are no longer interested in the things that usually bring them joy. The frontal lobe of the brain also suffers; it shrinks and loses its ability to function properly. This part of the brain regulates decisions, choices, and the ability to know the differences between right and wrong. When the frontal lobe is not functioning well you can’t control the impulse to take drugs. The amygdala which is the emotional center of the brain is also affected by drugs causing it to be oversensitive to stress and in this state, someone can have extreme mood swings and become trapped in the state of panic and worry. These negative effects that drugs can have on the brain are frightening but there is good news, if someone taking drugs stops completely the brain begins to heal.
Remember that prevention is better than cure. So, make the right decision and say no to drugs when someone offers it to you.