Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Is Dopamine to Blame For Our Addictions?


Most researchers agree that the key difference between human brains and those of other animals is the size and complexity of our cerebral cortex, the brain’s outer layer of neural tissue. We therefore tend to focus our attention on this area, believing that our unique mental life is due to this masterpiece of evolution.

But we often ignore the bits that are nearly identical between humans and animals, such as the tiny group of brain cells that use the chemical dopamine to communicate with other brain cells.

As I understand it, there are dopamine-related addictive substances such as PCP and cocaine. There are drugs such as Heroin, morphine, and other opiods that bind to an opiod receptor in the brain, totally apart from dopamine.

I didn’t like opioids whenever I had that experience…my friends on the other hand…

I didn’t really like cocaine

Lsd, mushrooms, weed and alcohol though :smiley:

I think we have a long way to go til we figure out addiction

My friend says “everyone needs a vice”

If only there were a drug I could do at night with no symptoms no hangover, no withdrawal, I think the world would be fine

We have a long way to go til the world is fine though…

“If only there were a drug I could do at night with no symptoms no hangover, no withdrawal, I think the world would be fine.”

That drug would be called “your kids”. They bring out the best in you and brighten up your whole life. :wink:

So sweet :smile:

IIRC all addiction is related to the dopaminergic system. Even non-substance abuse addictions like gambling.

This article below explains opiod receptors. Also, another addiction that comes to mind, is benzodiazapine binding to the GABA receptors.

“The projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are a network of dopaminergic neurons with co-localized postsynaptic glutamate receptors (AMPAR and NMDAR). These cells respond when stimuli indicative of a reward are present. The VTA supports learning and sensitization development and releases DA into the forebrain.[43] These neurons also project and release DA into the nucleus accumbens,[44] through the mesolimbic pathway. Virtually all drugs causing drug addiction increase the dopamine release in the mesolimbic pathway,[45] in addition to their specific effects.