How Drug Addiction Hijacks The Brain

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By Yasemin Saplakoglu

Original Source: livescience.com

You’ve probably heard of the brain’s reward network. It’s activated by basic needs — including food, water and sex — and releases a surge of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine when those needs are met. But it can also be hijacked by drugs, which lead to a greater dopamine release than those basic needs.

But the reward network isn’t the only brain network altered by drug use. A new review concluded that drug addiction affects six main brain networks: the reward, habit, salience, executive, memory and self-directed networks.

In 2016, a total of 20.1 million people ages 12 and older in the U.S. had a substance-use disorder, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual survey on drug use. And drug addiction, regardless of the substance used, had surprisingly similar effects on the…click here to continue reading

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