psychpost | 5/31/2011 01:16:00 PM
This little molecule above is known as Dopmaine.
It is found in our brains and is associated with feeling of well-being, happiness, euphoria, pain relief. Higher amounts are release during certain activities such as eating, sex, and drug use.
How drug addiction occurs
Dopamine is naturally occurring and is made by our bodies. When a (dopamine increasing) drug is taken, dopamine levels greatly rise, giving a feeling of euphoria. Because there is such a high abundance of dopamine, our bodies produce much less of it. We begin to be unable to produce our own dopamine and turn to the drug to feel good.
This is why addicts simply cannot stop using drugs, they are no longer able to experience joy without it.
Drugs that may cause dopamine-related addictions: Adderal, Dexedrine, Ritalin, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, oxycontin, alcohol, nicotine, and any morphine derivatives. basically anything that can release a high level of dopamine. Also high fat/calorie foods such as cheesecake or bacon can cause a milder response.
Noticeable side effects from a dopamine withdrawal include: anxiety, panic attacks, depression, sweating, nausea, generalized pain, fatigue, dizziness and drug cravings.