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Author Topic: What causes me to be addicted?  (Read 2883 times)

Offline stana

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What causes me to be addicted?
« on: 02/12/2007 11:35:36 »
Hey guys, i know that certain drugs are highly addictive, but what is it that actually makes me addicted? I thought it was my endorphins? but then i found out they were just a ntural pain killer.

thnks!


 

another_someone

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What causes me to be addicted?
« Reply #1 on: 02/12/2007 14:14:41 »
In simple terms, the drugs you are taking are performing functions that the body normally does anyway (and may even be doing it more vigorously than the body normally will do it).  The body has all sorts of feedback mechanisms to prevent it from exceeding certain limits on its activity, limits that it was not designed to exceed.  Some of these feedback mechanisms may simply shut off the natural way of doing things, while other feedback mechanisms may even try and compensate for the excess.

If you use drugs to push the body to exceeding its limits, then the body will kick in these feedback mechanisms.  Then when you stop taking the drug, the feedback mechanism may not respond as quickly as you shut off the drug supply, and so the feedback mechanism may actually force your body into going too far in the opposite way than the drug was taking you (this is when you get withdrawal symptoms).

As a crude example, opiates are very similar to endorphins.  Endorphins are one of the natural ways of controlling pain (it also has other functions in the body - this is why drugs often have secondary effects elsewhere, because the body often uses the same chemical in different ways in different parts of the body, so it may behave in one way in the brain, but another way in the intestines).  If you take opiate drugs, it does the same job as the endorphins, but does too much of it, so the body shuts down the natural endorphins.  Then when you stop taking the opiates, the natural levels of endorphins do not immediately return to normal, so you get withdrawal symptoms due to a lack of endorphins.
 

Offline imre1

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What causes me to be addicted?
« Reply #2 on: 05/12/2007 18:17:48 »
Above the explanation for real physical addiction.

Psychological addiction, e.g. smoking, is caused by the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is what stimulates the reward center of the brain. The quest for more stimulation of that reward center is what causes addiction.
« Last Edit: 05/12/2007 18:19:30 by imre1 »
 

Offline imre1

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What causes me to be addicted?
« Reply #3 on: 05/12/2007 18:18:55 »
Endorphins are what is released during excercise. They make the body feel more energetic.
 

another_someone

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What causes me to be addicted?
« Reply #4 on: 05/12/2007 18:25:15 »
Above the explanation for real physical addiction.

Psychological addiction, e.g. smoking, is caused by the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is what stimulates the reward center of the brain. The quest for more stimulation of that reward center is what causes addiction.

Smoking is every bit as much a physical addiction as heroin, and some people have suggested it is even more addictive than heroin.  Yes, smoking effects dopamine receptors, but it is still a physical addiction because the dopamine receptors will modify themselves in response to the effects of smoking.

If you had made a contrast to an addiction to gambling, then that is another matter.
 

another_someone

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What causes me to be addicted?
« Reply #5 on: 05/12/2007 18:27:49 »
Endorphins are what is released during excercise. They make the body feel more energetic.

Don't think endorphins will make you feel more energetic, but the will overcome the physical pain of exercise (going through the pain barrier), and they can give you a high (and much has been debated about whether intense exercise is itself addictive).
 

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What causes me to be addicted?
« Reply #5 on: 05/12/2007 18:27:49 »

 

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