Describe the so-called “brain reward pathway” and explain its importance to understanding the effects of drug seeking behavior. Provide an example to support your description.
Doing some drugs causes the brain to release a more than normal amount of dopamine. Addictive drugs all increase brain levels of dopamine. Dopamine in the brain is what makes us feel good. It is the feeling we get when we eat ice cream, make love, or getting a compliment (Powledge, 1999). Addictive drugs interfere with normal dopamine handling. Cocaine imitates dopamine so well that it can bind to the transporter and block dopamine re-uptake. I am not exactly sure what that means. However, I am sure that I will learn during this class. Addicts seek drugs to get that same feeling.
Powledge, T. M. (1999). Addiction and the brain. Bioscience, 49(7), 513.