The Science of Addiction: Here's Your Brain on Drugs
Addiction comes in many forms - trapping millions across the globe in a vicious cycle of desire, bingeing, and withdrawal. With the latest research on how the brain works, scientists are challenging the notion that addiction represents some kind of moral failing. They’re focusing instead on developing new methods of treatment.
To understand addiction, it’s helpful to begin with the brain’s elaborate reward system, built around a chemical called dopamine. When we do something that helps us survive, like eating, socializing, or procreating, the brain rewards us with a blast of dopamine across our cerebral circuitry, which we experience as pleasure.
Drugs override the natural flow of dopamine and, in the process, “hijack” our reward system. Find out how addiction comes about, and explore the latest innovations for its treatment, in this animated video.
Reference: National Geographic - https://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/magazine/focal-point/170822-ngm-focal-point-addiction
This Is What Happens to Your Brain on Opioids
Driven by opioid addiction, drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Opioids are part of a drug class that includes the illegal drug heroin and powerful pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and many others. In 2015, more than 33,000 people died from overdoses involving opioids. Every day in the United States more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for not using prescription opioids as directed.
Reference: National Geographic - https://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/short-film-showcase/this-is-what-happens-to-your-brain-on-opioids?source=searchvideo