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How do drugs affect the brain? Show more Show less
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A psychoactive drug is a chemical substance which, when consumed, can affect the brain and nervous system, resulting in an altered mental state. The potent effects of psychoactive drugs have led some to be used as prescription medicines, while others have become some of the most widely prohibited illicit substances in the world. So what are the effects of drugs on the brain? What are the different types of psychoactive drug, and how do these various chemicals affect behaviour, consciousness, mood, perception, and the functioning of the brain?

Stimulants elevate alertness and mood Show more Show less

Stimulant drugs affect the brain's internal communication and transmission processes, often targeting the dopamine reward pathway to cause feelings of euphoria.
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Amphetamines affect mood and cognition

Emotional and cognitive effects occur when amphetamines stimulate the central nervous system.
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The Argument

Amphetamines cause behavioural changes by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain; specifically dopamine and norepinephrine, the main neurotransmitters involved in the brain's reward and executive function pathways. The increased release and accumulation of dopamine resulting from amphetamine use causes euphoric feelings and can affect sexual desire and cognitive and behavioral control. Elevated norepinephrine levels stimulate locomotion and motor control, giving amphetamines potential performance-enhancing effects that have been exploited by some athletes. Amphetamines are highly addictive and the psychological and neurological impacts of withdrawal can be extreme, including depression, anxiety, fatigue, and an overwhelming urge to consume more amphetamines. Long-term use of amphetamines alters dopamine receptors and can result in both cognitive and motor impairments.

Counter arguments

Premises

[P1] Amphetamines stimulate dopamine and norepinephrine levels to cause euphoria.

Rejecting the premises

References

This page was last edited on Thursday, 5 Mar 2020 at 17:08 UTC

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