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Neurobiology of Addiction
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes

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– Review how tolerance develops
– Discuss the impact of addictive substances and behaviors on the brain and body
Tolerance (Addiction or Physiological or Physical Stress)
– The brain tries to maintain homeostasis in the body (warm bath)
– When you take drugs or experience stress it increases the levels of certain neurotransmitters (stimulants = hot water; depressants=cold water)
– To normalize the chemical levels the brain for survival, the brain “balances the temperature”
– Increases the secretion or receptor activation of the opposite neurotransmitters
– Reduces activation of targeted receptors (cortisol, glutamate etc.)
– To get the same high, more or different triggers are needed
– Withdrawal triggers opposing physiological and psychological symptoms