Hyderabad: Addiction medicine experts say the intake of drugs hijacks the reward system of the body.
“Reward system is a psychological survival technique where we do something in order to reward ourselves. Like eating when hungry,’ said Dr Prasad V. A, resident medical officer and therapy incharge at Hope Trust. This rewa-rd system that gets skewed due to the intake of drugs, he adds.
Recreational drugs, as psychologists call drugs like marijuana, LSD, ecstasy pump the rewa-rd system with chemicals that change the way the brain functions. “Imagine rewarding yourself with food, addicts start to reward themselves by consuming drugs that would give 10 times more pleasure than anything else,” Dr Prasad said.
But this ‘high’ has its pitfalls. Dr Bharath Kumar Reddy, a psychiatrist with Apollo Hosp-ital, said that with regular consumption, the effect begins to dissipate, encouraging the user to consume higher doses with more frequency. The initial happiness, euphoria and arousal can turn into mood swings, memory loss and hallucination.
Why do some people become more hooked than others? Research indicates that the tendency to engage in drug abuse could be genetic.
But biological functions can’t be blamed solely. “If a person gro-ws in an environment where drinking, smoking, drugs are validated, then from a young age the child would find nothing wrong with doing it,” said Dr O. Aravind Reddy, psychologist at the deaddiction and rehabilitation unit of Aradhana Centre....