How Stimulants Affect the Brain

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How Stimulants Affect a User’s Brain

Stimulant drugs impact a user’s brain in various ways and because of this a user will experience different side effects from the drug. When a stimulant drug enters a person’s body it flows through the bloodstream directly to their brain. As the drug flows through the brain it will begin to impair neurotransmitters; specifically the ones located in the reward system’s part of a person’s brain.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, all stimulants affect a person’s brain by increasing dopamine levels. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure, attention, and movement. The euphoric effect of stimulants occurs from slow and steady increases of dopamine that is caused from the stimulant taken.

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Due to the increase of dopamine a person on stimulants will feel more energized and alert, and this is why stimulant drugs are prescribed to people who suffer from narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If a person abuses a stimulant drug they may feel happier, more sexual, more confident, and more productive. However, once the drug leaves a user’s body, their dopamine levels will be depleted resulting in them feeling fatigued and depressed.

The Dangers of Stimulants to a User’s Brain

How Stimulants Affect the Brain

Stimulants interact with the brain’s dopamine receptors.

Although stimulants will cause a person to have increased heart rates which can result in cardiac arrest or stroke, the main impact stimulants have on a person is the damage they can cause to their brain. Prolonged use of stimulants can cause permanent brain damage and every time a person abuses a stimulant drug, they are messing up the chemical makeup of their brain.

Since stimulants mainly impact the pleasure system in a person’s brain, if a person continues to take stimulants their brain will continue to have large increases in its dopamine levels and then large depletions of it. Over time, a person’s brain may no longer be able to create the natural amounts of dopamine needed if a person keeps on altering their dopamine levels from taking a stimulant drug. This can result in a person feeling depressed, having anxiety or having a hard time enjoying pleasurable activities again, even after they quit using the stimulant.

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According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prolonged use of stimulants, such as methamphetamine can cause a person to have insomnia, anxiety, confusion, violent behavior and mood swings. It can also cause a person to show signs of paranoia, delusions and visual and auditory hallucinations.

There are numerous impacts long-term stimulant abuse can have on a person’s brain being that every time a person uses the drug they are impairing their brain functioning. Every person’s effects may be different, but there are always effects that occur from long-term stimulant abuse.

the Take-Away

Stimulants main impact on a person’s body is the impairment of a user’s brain chemicals. Stimulant drugs will alter the chemical makeup of a user’s brain and cause them to feel happier, more alert and more confident.