From: University of Utah, Genetics Science Learning Center.
This website â€“ which is highly interesting, informative, and entertaining — delivers interactive and print-based resources, free of charge, on the neurobiological actions of substances of abuse: heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, and alcohol. The presentations primarily depict how drugs interact with dopamine neurotransmitters within the brain’s reward pathway. The influences of genetics on addiction are also discussed. Although the simplified mechanisms of drug action and other influences depict only part of the story, even experienced practitioners will find the material of interest as a refresher.
Particularly entertaining yet informative, and well worth a look, is the â€œMouse Party,â€ which takes an interactive look inside the brains of animated mice on drugs, exploring molecular mechanisms of addiction. It provides a small glimpse into the chemical interactions at the synaptic level that cause drug users to feel â€œhighâ€ and want to repeat drug-abusing behaviors.
- Go to the Mouse Party
- Section on How Drugs Alter Brain Reward Pathways
- Main Page on Genetics of Addiction
- Some animations require the Adobe Flash Player (available free at Adobe)
|The Science of Addiction: From Neurobiology to Treatment
by Carlton K. Erickson