APR 25, 2018 10:32 AM PDT

Your brain on opioids

OOPS! THAT EXPERIMENT FAILED...

It's not your fault! Something went wrong with our formula.
Please begin your experiment again by clicking here.

If this error continues to occur please contact us at support@labroots.com.


With the opioid crisis still storming strong, it's important to understand just how opioids affect your brain. Though there are many different types of opioids, they all share a similar chemcial composition to our body's natural endorphins, which allows them to bind to these receptors and stop pain signals. This painkilling trait is the reason why doctors prescribe the drugs.

But the drugs also bind to the ventral tegmental area, which is the part of your brain that releases dopamine. Dopamine is the brain's neurotransmitter that regulates movement, emotion, cognition, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. It is often called the reward center of the brain. The problem with opioids is that they flood the brain with too much dopamine, and teach users to associate the drugs with that "feel-good" state. That encourages people to continue taking opioids in order to keep feeling that feeling. Want to learn more about how opioids affect the brain? Watch the movie!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 16, 2018
Videos
JUL 16, 2018
Neuroscience and the Legal System.
In a court of law, it’s all about the evidence. Whether criminal or civil, the outcome of any legal proceeding must be based on what was presented as...
JUL 24, 2018
Plants & Animals
JUL 24, 2018
These Animals Experience Harsher Childbirths Than Humans
You might be quick to think that humans have it hard during childbirth, but compared to a few other species in the animal kingdom, humans actually have it...
JUL 25, 2018
Videos
JUL 25, 2018
What the Cockroach Genome can Teach us
The genome of the cockroach was recently sequenced, and scientists have gained some insight into why they are so tough....
JUL 26, 2018
Videos
JUL 26, 2018
Most Military Deaths Are Not From Combat
Since 2006, 16,000 military service members have died while on active duty. While some were killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, 72% of those deaths o...
AUG 01, 2018
Videos
AUG 01, 2018
Award-winning Images of Organoids From the Koch Institute
Every year, the Koch Institute at MIT shares some of the most stunning images produced at the research facility....
AUG 17, 2018
Videos
AUG 17, 2018
Powering Greenhouses Using Food Waste
In simplest terms, food waste is food thrown in the garbage instead of being consumed. There is no use of throwing food and no benefit can come out of it....
Loading Comments...