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Compare and contrast the neuropharmacological basis for the risks associated with the use of: Cocaine, Ecstasy, Heroin, and Cannabis - Essay Example

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The interactions relate to reinforcing drug properties or other drug-associated effects. The drug interaction with the brain varies with each type of drug, but sharing in how…
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Compare and contrast the neuropharmacological basis for the risks associated with the use of: Cocaine, Ecstasy, Heroin, and Cannabis
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Extract of sample "Compare and contrast the neuropharmacological basis for the risks associated with the use of: Cocaine, Ecstasy, Heroin, and Cannabis"

Download file to see previous pages eroin alter neurochemical processes by either mimicking neurotransmitter action, changing the functioning of the receptors, or influencing intracellular processes et cetera. A drug effects these alterations if it diffuses into the brain from the blood circulation. Different drugs have different properties that affect how they penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Administration route for the drug also changes how fast a drug reaches the brain thus affecting drug efficacy and potency.
Cocaine is a stimulant drug from the leaves of the coca plant. It is a white powder administered into the body through Snorting. In the form of ‘crack, it can be smoked or injected. Cocaine causes mood, energy, alertness and concentration elevation, reduced fatigue and appetite. Cocaine overdose causes seizures, delirium, coma, and convulsions. An individual may succumb to respiratory failure or cardiac arrest if no immediate care is administered. Cocaine acts on the presynaptic terminal of neurons. It blocks neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin reuptake into the presynaptic terminal. The synaptic dopamine level increases in the brain’s Mesocorticolimbic pathway (MCLP) resulting in an elevated dopamine activity, believed to cause cocaine addiction. Cocaine’s ability to reinforce the action of dopamine is mediated through activation of dopamine receptor subtypes D1 and D2. The result is the acute behaviour associated with cocaine (Copello et al., 2006). Chronic administration of cocaine into the body triggers changes in brain neurochemical compensatory mechanisms. Dopamine receptors lose their sensitivity. The entire dopamine transmission and reception is interrupted due to alterations in genes that regulate intracellular mechanisms. Irregular cocaine administration may trigger the sensitization of specific motor activity such as stimulation in activity level. Tolerance to motor stimulation results from continuous administration of cocaine, leading to cocaine ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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