How Drug Addiction Hijacks the Brain

How Drug Addiction Hijacks the Brain

You've probably heard of the brain's reward network. It's activated by basic needs — including food, water and sex — and releases a surge of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine when those needs are met. But it can also be hijacked by drugs, which lead to a greater dopamine release than those basic needs. But the reward network isn't the only brain network altered by drug use. A new review concluded that drug addiction affects six main brain networks: the reward, habit, salience, executive, memory and self-directed networks. In 2016, a total of 20.1 million people ages 12 and older in...

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