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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: The vast majority of recreational drugs stimulate the one common denominator in our central nervous system, the ‘seat of our soul’ if you will, the primitive reward centers of the brain.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Addictive mind altering drugs and alcohol are the bane and burden of civilized mankind, negatively altering the lives and even killing,...

Addictive mind altering drugs and alcohol are the bane and burden of civilized mankind, negatively altering the lives and even killing, directly or indirectly, millions of human beings throughout history. Every year many of us Homo sapiens, even those well educated and/or financially successful, find ourselves in jail, losing a job or a family, or even killing another human being as a consequence of our alcohol or drug addiction. The cost of addiction to our society is enormous. Why are human beings vulnerable and willing prey to the effects of mind-altering substances? Why do human beings take addictive mind-altering substances despite substantial and often horrific negative consequences, such as loss of family, job, and reputation, legal or psychiatric incarceration? Why do some alcoholics and addicts literally drink or drug themselves to death?


Most addicts and alcoholics start using mood-altering substances in response to life stress: the loss of a loved one, financial distress, fear of failure, etc. The negative emotions associated with life stresses are essentially fear, resentment, and sorrow. These emotions and the horrible feeling of stress in our lives can be placated by drugs and alcohol. We primarily seek drugs and alcohol to dampen our negative thoughts and make us feel better. While intoxicated, one could say we have a false sense of Darwinian fitness. We feel stronger, until the mood-altering substance wears off and the life’s hard reality comes into focus again.
What is the current neuroscience behind how drugs and alcohol make us feel better? Although different classes of drugs affect different areas of the brain, the vast majority of recreational drugs stimulate the one common denominator in our central nervous system, the ‘seat of our soul’ if you will, the primitive reward centers of the brain. This part of our brain is called the limbic system.
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