Friday, February 15, 2008

Nicotine and opiate addiction related?

Before you light up that next cigarette ponder this:

Research in the Journal of Neuroscience has demonstrated that the mechanism of nicotine addiction appears to be physiologically similar to opiate addiction. It appears that the same area of the brain is involved with the dopamine mediation of both drugs.

This would seem to explain why it is so difficult to stop smoking when you are addicted to nicotine (as with any drug, not all smokers are physiologically addicted). It also adds credence to a point I wrote about some time ago that nicotine is THE gateway drug.

The nucleus accumbens causing blasts of dopamine that signals the brain to keep seeking rewarding sensations brought on by drugs.

Mind over matter will not work for either addiction.

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