Search For A Cure
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Heroin Addiction Brain Science
Research into the biochemical sources of heroin addiction has focused, in part, on the role that opioid receptors play in the body’s response to the drug. Medications have been developed that either mimic heroin’s interaction with the receptors or that block the receptors entirely.
The action of opioid receptors, however, might be only part of the problem of heroin addiction. Heroin dependent users sometimes experience withdrawal symptoms not only when they stop taking the drug, but also when they’re exposed to environmental cues (situations, behaviors, sounds, smells, etc.) that they associate with withdrawal. When they encounter these cues, they begin to experience withdrawal and are driven to take more of the drug.
Researchers have attempted to identify the parts of the brain responsible for this cue-driven withdrawal, with the hope of developing new treatments to counter the effect.
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