Mechanisms of Various Street Drugs

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Heroin1Before heroin enters the system inhibitory neurotransmitters are active in the synapse These neurotransmitters inhibit dopamine from being released2When the bodys natural opiates activate opiate receptors the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters is shut down Without inhibition dopamine can be released3Heroin mimics natural opiates and binds to opiate receptors turning off dopamine inhibition Dopamine is allowed to flood the synapse producing immediate feelings of sedation and wellbeing4Neurons with opiate receptors are in parts of the brain responsible for the transmission of pain signals stress response and emotional attachment Our bodys opiates are natural painkillers effective when we have sustained massive injury This is why morphine a drug related to heroin is used as a painkillerEcstasy1Serotonin transporters are responsible for removing serotonin molecules from the synaptic cleft after they have done their job2Ecstasy mimics serotonin and is taken up by serotonin transporters In fact ecstasy is more readily taken up than serotonin itself3This interaction with ecstasy alters the transporter The transporter becomes temporarily confused and starts to do its job in reverse The transporter starts transporting serotonin out of the cell4The excess serotonin becomes trapped in the synaptic cleft As a r
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