Implications of the Physiological Mechanisms of Substance Use Disorder

The various neurotransmitter systems each release a chemical of a different “flavor” along a unique pathway from one brain region to another. Furthermore, the brain may produce many different neurotransmitter receptors, each responding differently to the same chemical, such that the number of signals that can be transmitted in the brain seems innumerable. Many drugs can drastically disrupt this system, providing an artificial boost to pleasure centers. Some people who experience this pleasure may find themselves in the throws of substance use disorder, unable to refrain from drugs even in the face of society’s disapproval and possible legal censure.

For this week’s Discussion, you select a substance that often leads to substance use disorder. You examine the physiological mechanisms of substance use disorder related to that substance and what knowledge of these mechanisms can contribute to a societal response to the problem of substance use disorder.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief explanation of how the substance you selected affects the body. Then explain the physiological mechanisms of substance use disorder related to the substance you selected. Finally, explain two ways knowledge of physiological mechanisms of substance use disorder might impact a society’s response to the problem of substance use disorder. Support your postings and responses with specific references to the literature and Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

Respond by Day 6 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

Explain the physiological mechanisms of substance use disorder related to the substance you selected
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