WE ARE OUR BRAINS - CHAPTER 6


ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCES

Affect the brain by mimicking its own chemical messengers or affecting the availability or action of natural chemical messengers.

ECSTASY

Raises serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin levels.

This is why after you take a drug, your brain no longer functions normally; its natural levels of messengers get disrupted and the dopamine reward system has been affected.

Originally patented as an appetite suppressant in 1914.

20mins after swallowing, oxytocin, serotonin and vasopressin levels rise.

Tiredness vanishes and you have a desire to hug everyone.

Love and good social interaction feelings last for about one hour.

It can destroy the brain cells that produce serotonin. Users are therefore more likely to develop psychiatric and neurological disorders.

It causes brain blood vessels to dilate and constrict in the long term in different regions of the brain respectively, which may lead to brain infarcts or bleeding.

Too little water consumed after ecstasy may cause dehydration. But too much water may cause water poisoning and brain damage because the extra vasopressin the brain produces causes the kidneys to retain water. About a glass an hour is the amount of water that should be consumed under the influence of ecstasy.

CANNABIS

Anandamide is mimicked. Its receptors are mainly located in the stratum, which is responsible for blissful feelings, the cerebellum: responsible for the unsteady gait, the cerebral cortex for association, fragmented thoughts and confusion and the hippocampus, responsible for the memory impairment.

May induce schizophrenia in people who may come to develop it.

Daily smoking reduces the sizes of the hippocampus (memory), amygdala (fear, aggression, sexual behaviour), causes damage to the corpus callosum (connection between the left and right brain hemispheres).

It may also cause psychosis, derealisation, depersonalisation, concentration difficulties.

Too much THC in strong cannabis is dangerous.

#WAOB

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