Cashback Offer (25th Nov-05th Dec 2020). Get Flat 10% Cashback credited in your account on a minimum transaction of $80. Post Your Question

Question Details Normal
$ 5.00

Need help with DB post

  • From Biology, General Biology
  • Due on 03 May, 2019 03:06:00
  • Asked On 01 May, 2019 07:08:31
  • Due date has already passed, but you can still post solutions.
Question posted by
Online Tutor Profile

Topic: The Brain on Mind Altering Drugs

Psychoactive drugs alter brain function by acting at synapses in the brain, where they may mimic, enhance, or block the effects of natural signaling molecules (neurotransmitters). The neurotransmitter dopamine plays a particularly important role in creating the dependency aspect of both drug and behavioral addictions. Natural behaviors which enhance survival and/or reproduction, such as eating or engaging in sex, result in a surge of dopamine. Normally, this response helps individuals learn to repeat beneficial behaviors. However, when an addict uses a drug or behavior to cause dopamine release, they are using this learning pathway to teach themselves that this behavior is essential to their well-being. These circuits become a lifelong plague which makes the addict more prone to relapse.


Brain imaging studies from drug-addicted individuals show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control. Psychoactive drugs affect signal transmission in the brain by encouraging or inhibiting release of a neurotransmitter, blocking or mimicking its action, or affecting its reuptake. The effect of a particular neurotransmitter on a postsynaptic cell depends on the type of neurotransmitter and the type of receptor it binds to. The neurotransmitter ACh affects alertness and plays a role in memory. Norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline) prepare the body to respond to stress or excitement. Dopamine influences reward-based learning and acts in fine motor control. Serotonin influences mood and memory. Glutamate is the main excitatory signal in the central nervous system. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain relievers.


Important Concepts from Chapter 13:

  • Section 13.3: How Neurons Communicate The region where an axon terminal sends chemical signals to a neuron, a muscle fiber, or a gland cell is a chemical synapse. Axon terminals have synaptic vesicles filled with neurotransmitter, a signaling molecule that relays messages between cells at a synapse. The plasma membrane of a postsynaptic cell has receptor proteins that reversibly bind neurotransmitter. How a receiving cell responds depends on the type and amount of the neurotransmitter, the kinds of receptors, and other factors. Certain drugs can block reuptake of neurotransmitters.
  • Section 13.13: The Brain on Mind Altering Drugs Drugs such as morphine and heroin mimic a neurotransmitter’s effect on a postsynaptic cell; they bind to receptors for endorphins (natural pain relievers), and elicit pain relief and feelings of well-being. Caffeine binds and inactivates receptors for adenosine, a neurotransmitter that causes drowsiness. Alcohol encourages drowsiness by releasing adenosine. Other drugs interfere with reuptake of neurotransmitter from the synaptic cleft. For example, cocaine slows reuptake of several neurotransmitters, including dopamine.



1. Visit the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse and read the article Drugs, Brains and Behavior: The Science of Drug Addiction.

2. Go to Indiana University and read an article on Addictive Behaviors.


Prompt : - Using the sources provided, briefly describe one factor that can increase the risk of drug addiction, and one protective factor that can reduce the risk of drug addiction. - Why do you think Americans use so many legal drugs (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, and OTC drugs)?

Available Answers
$ 15.00

[Solved] Topic: The Brain on Mind Altering Drugs

  • This Solution has been Purchased 1 time
  • Submitted On 06 May, 2019 05:30:29
Answer posted by
Online Tutor Profile
Topic: The Brain on Mind Altering Drugs Psychoactive drugs alter brain function by acting at synapses in the brain, where they may mimic, enhance, or block the effects of ...
Buy now to view the complete solution
Other Related Questions

No related question exists

The benefits of buying study notes from CourseMerit

Assurance Of Timely Delivery
We value your patience, and to ensure you always receive your homework help within the promised time, our dedicated team of tutors begins their work as soon as the request arrives.
Best Price In The Market
All the services that are available on our page cost only a nominal amount of money. In fact, the prices are lower than the industry standards. You can always expect value for money from us.
Uninterrupted 24/7 Support
Our customer support wing remains online 24x7 to provide you seamless assistance. Also, when you post a query or a request here, you can expect an immediate response from our side.
Only 45 characters allowed.

$ 629.35