By Avram Goldstein
Content material: medicines and the mind. Neurotransmitters : the brain's personal medicines -- Receptors : locks for the addictive keys -- Addictive habit -- ache and delight -- The seesaw mind : "highs" and diversifications -- Are addicts born or made? the medication and the addicts. Nicotine -- Alcohol and similar medicinal drugs -- Heroin, morphine, and different opiates -- Cocaine and amphetamines -- hashish (Marijuana) -- Caffeine -- Hallucinogens. medicinal drugs and society. Prevention : simply say no? -- Treating habit, combating relapse -- 3 classes from the road -- 3 classes from out of the country -- Prohibition vs. legalization : a fake dichotomy -- New suggestions for rational drug coverage
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Extra resources for Addiction : from biology to drug policy
An animal (typically a rabbit) is injected with the substance we wish to detect—here a certain neurotransmitter, modified slightly to make it seem foreign to the animal's body. Within a few weeks, the animal's immune system reacts by making antibodies. These can be harvested from the animal's blood or directly from its antibody-producing cells. An antibody is usually quite specific in recognizing and binding the same compound used to produce it. Specificity makes antibodies useful for localizing neurotransmitters by immunocytochemistry.
1 A). Bernard was forced to conclude that curare acted neither on nerve nor on muscle but somehow between the nerve endings and the muscle tissue. He was right; today we know Fig. 1 A: Historic experiments on neurotransmitters and receptors. Bernard's experiment. 22 Drugs and the Brain there is a specialized structure there, the neuromuscular junction, on which curare acts. In 1909 in England, at the University of Cambridge, J. N. IB). No nerves were needed; even if they were destroyed, nicotine made the muscle contract, and curare prevented the nicotine action.
How was this shown? A frog heart, with its nerve intact, was placed in a small container of salt solution; it continued to beat. In another container was a second heart. Fluid from the first container, transferred to the second, had no effect on the heart there. Loewi slowed the beating of the first heart by stimulating its nerve electrically, then transferred the bath fluid to the second container. Remarkably, the second heart slowed, even though its nerve had not been stimulated. This proved conclusively that some substance released by the nerve onto the first heart had slowed it; and that the same substance, transferred with the bath fluid to the second heart, had slowed it, too.