Stimulant drugs and their effects on our consciousness

Will taking Benadryl for my allergies affect or impede the effectiveness of any of them? There are no documented drug interactions between Benadryl diphenhydramine and the supplements listed. However, drug interaction information with supplements is often incomplete. If you suspect a drug interaction or experience side effects on the combination, consult your healthcare provider.

Stimulant drugs and their effects on our consciousness

Adderall (Adderall XR) - Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions - Drugs

The Limbic Reward System The brain circuit that is considered essential to the neurological reinforcement system is called the limbic reward system also called the dopamine reward system or the brain reward system. This neural circuit spans between the ventral tegmental area VTA and the nucleus accumbens see Figure Every substance of abuse--alcohol, cocaine, MA, heroin, marijuana, nicotine--has some effect on the limbic reward system.

Substances of abuse also affect the nucleus accumbens by increasing the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which helps to regulate the feelings of pleasure euphoria and satisfaction.

Dopamine also plays an important role in the control of movement, cognition, motivation, and reward Wise, ; Robbins et al. High levels of free dopamine in the brain generally enhance mood and increase body movement i.

The Limbic Reward System. This internal communication leads to the release of dopamine. The released dopamine produces immediate, but ephemeral, feelings of pleasure and elation. As dopamine levels subside, so do the feelings of pleasure. But if the activity is repeated, then dopamine is again released, and more feelings Stimulant drugs and their effects on our consciousness pleasure and euphoria are produced.

The release of dopamine and the resulting pleasurable feelings positively reinforce such activities in both humans and animals and motivate the repetition of these activities.

Dopamine is believed to play an important role in the reinforcement of and motivation for repetitive actions Di Chiara, ; Wise,and there is an increasing amount of scientific evidence suggesting that the limbic reward system and levels of free dopamine provide the common link in the abuse and addiction of all substances.

Dopamine has even been labeled "the master molecule of addiction" Nash, When the nucleus accumbens is functioning normally, communication among its neurons occurs in a consistent and predictable manner.

First, an electrical signal within a stimulated neuron reaches its point of connection i. The electrical signal in the presynaptic neuron triggers the release of dopamine into the synapse.

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The dopamine travels across the synaptic gap until it reaches the target neuron. Extra dopamine may be chemically deactivated, or it may be quickly reabsorbed by the releasing neuron through a system called the dopamine reuptake transporter see Figure As soon as the extra dopamine has been deactivated or reabsorbed, the two cells are "reset," with the releasing neuron prepared to send another chemical signal and the target neuron prepared to receive it.

Substances of abuse, and especially stimulants, affect the normal functioning of the dopamine neurotransmitter system Snyder, ; Cooper et al. Neurological Reinforcement Systems Psychologists have long recognized the importance of positive and negative reinforcement for learning and sustaining particular behaviors Koob and LeMoal, Beginning in the late s, scientists observed in animals that electrically stimulating certain areas of the brain led to changes in mental alertness and behavior.

Rats and other laboratory animals could be taught to self-stimulate pleasure circuits in the brain until exhaustion. If stimulants such as cocaine or amphetamine were administered, for example, sensitivity to pleasurable responses was so enhanced that the animals would choose electrical stimulation of the pleasure centers in their brains over eating or other normally rewarding activities.

The process just described in which a pleasure-inducing action becomes repetitive is called positive reinforcement.

Conversely, abrupt discontinuation of the psychoactive substances following chronic use was found to result in discomfort and behaviors consistent with craving.

Stimulant drugs and their effects on our consciousness

The motivation to use a substance in order to avoid discomfort is called negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is believed to be controlled by various neurotransmitter systems, whereas negative reinforcement is believed to be the result of adaptations produced by chronic use within the same neurotransmitter systems.

Experimental evidence from both animal and human studies supports the theory that stimulants and other commonly abused substances imitate, facilitate, or block the neurotransmitters involved in brain reinforcement systems NIAAA, In fact, researchers have posited a common neural basis for the powerful rewarding effects of abused substances for a review, see Restak, Natural reinforcers such as food, drink, and sex also activate reinforcement pathways in the brain, and it has been suggested that stimulants and other drugs act as chemical surrogates of the natural reinforcers.

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A key danger in this relationship, however, is that the pleasure produced by substances of abuse can be more powerfully rewarding than that produced by natural reinforcers NIAAA, Cocaine and MA have both been shown to specifically disrupt the dopamine neurotransmitter system.

The use of cocaine and MA increases the amount of available dopamine in the brain, which leads to mood elevation e. With cocaine, the effects are short-lived; with MA the duration of effect is much longer.

As the stimulant level in the brain decreases, the dopamine levels subside to normal, and the pleasurable feelings dwindle away. A growing body of scientific research based on animal research and brain imaging studies in humans suggests that the chronic use of stimulants affect dopaminergic neurons in limbic reward system structures e.Altering Consciousness With Psychoactive Drugs.

Learning Objectives. Summarize the major psychoactive drugs and their influences on consciousness and behavior. Review the evidence regarding the dangers of recreational drugs. A psychoactive drug A chemical that changes our states of consciousness.

Characteristics of drug use and abuse

Most drugs of abuse can alter a person’s thinking and judgment, leading to health risks, including addiction, drugged driving and infectious disease.

Most drugs could potentially harm an unborn baby; pregnancy-related issues are listed in the chart below for drugs where there is enough scientific evidence to connect the drug use to specific negative effects. Psychoactive drug use can be traced to is archaeological evidence of the use of psychoactive substances (mostly plants) dating back at least 10, years, and historical evidence of cultural use over the past 5, years.

The chewing of coca leaves, for example, dates back over 8, years ago in Peruvian society. For the last two decades, numerous people have written on, and public figures have exposed the clear correlation between mass shootings and the influence of psychiatric drugs. The short-term effects of stimulants include exhaustion, apathy and depression—the “down” that follows the “up.” It is this immediate and lasting exhaustion that .

Adderall is the brand name of a prescription medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults.. Adderall is a combination of two stimulant drugs.

Psychoactive drug - Wikipedia