Why people develop a drug of choice

This is the last installment of a five part series on the neurobiology of addiction by Jennifer Fernández, PhD. Follow along on Power Over Addiction or Facebook. Drug of choice can say a lot about a person or what they’re coping with. People choose drugs that will best help them cope with underlying problems. Sometimes Read more about Why people develop a drug of choice[…]

Neurotransmitters and Addiction

This is the fourth installment of a five part series on the neurobiology of addiction by Jennifer Fernández, PhD. Follow along on Power Over Addiction or Facebook. In the previous installment of this series, we learned that dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure and euphoria, but it has other functions as well. And dopamine Read more about Neurotransmitters and Addiction[…]

This is your brain on drugs. For real.

This is the third installment of a five part series on the neurobiology of addiction by Jennifer Fernández, PhD. Follow along on Power Over Addiction or Facebook. Addiction is scary. It has caused pain in many people’s lives and has cost families and governments trillions of dollars to treat and prevent. It’s no surprise that Read more about This is your brain on drugs. For real.[…]

Researchers stop stress-related relapse in rats

We all deal with stress and have to learn methods to reduce and manage the stressors that life throws at us. But for someone with an addiction, day to day stressors can have a disastrous impact. Stress can trigger relapse, especially early in the recovery phase of addiction when new coping skills are being introduced and a Read more about Researchers stop stress-related relapse in rats[…]

Drug Tolerance Explained

Our brain thrives on novelty and dopamine helps us store information about novel situations.  We know that dopamine is released when we receive a reward, but it is also involved in noting unexpected rewards. If you get more juice than you anticipated, your brain releases dopamine and sends it to the anterior cingulate in your frontal cortex, Read more about Drug Tolerance Explained[…]

This is your brain on dopamine

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for movement, pleasure, motivation, and cognitive processes, such as learning. For the purposes of understanding its role in addiction, let’s concentrate on pleasure and motivation. Whenever we do something that propagates the advancement of our species, dopamine is released in order to motivate repetition of the action. When we sleep, eat, and Read more about This is your brain on dopamine[…]