As the brain matures, experiences prune excess neural connections while strengthening those that are used more often. Many scientists think that this process contributes to the steady reduction in gray matter volume seen during adolescence (depicted as the yellow to blue transition in the figure). As environmental forces help determine which connections will wither and which will thrive, the brain circuits that emerge become more efficient. However, this is a process that can cut both ways because not all tasks are desirable. The environment is like an artist who creates a sculpture by chipping away excess marble; and just like bad artists can produce bad art, environments with negative factors (like drugs, malnutrition, bullying, or sleep deprivation) can lead to efficient but potentially harmful circuits that conspire against a person's well-being.
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that causes dangerous physical effects such as rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure. Cocaine is extremely addictive due to its short half-life and method of action. It keeps a steady stream of dopamine in the brain while users are high, preventing further dopamine production and closing down dopamine receptors. When withdrawal sets in, the brain starts to crave the lost dopamine the drug once provided, making it extremely hard to recover from.10

Stimulants work by activating the central nervous system, inciting feelings of excitement and increasing physical and cognitive function. When a person uses these substances, they feel a rush of intense pleasure caused by a surge of dopamine. A tolerance can build up over time from frequent stimulant use, which can signify the early stages of an abuse disorder.

Upon exiting treatment, a patient may be prescribed a drug like disulfiram, which prevents the body from chemically processing alcohol, causing an unpleasant reaction if the patient relapses or attempts to relapse. Because of disulfiram’s toxicity, it has to be taken under the supervision of a doctor, as unregulated usage can cause strong, even fatal reactions.

Since 1962, IVRS has grown into a continuum of care network offering an array of substance abuse services including detoxification, residential and outpatient treatment, aftercare, education, individual and group counseling, along with primary & secondary prevention services. Also we operate licensed, court-approved domestic violence batterer’s treatment alternatives. IVRS is headquartered in the City of Upland, and has facilities in the County San Bernardino (Southern California). Each year, IVRS serves approximately 5,000 individuals through a variety of substance abuse recovery, treatment, and prevention services. IVRS is run by qualified, caring multi-disciplinary team of administrators, counselors, therapists and support staff, including bilingual English/Spanish, who meet the California Department of Health Care Services licensing & certification requirements.
Thanks to years of research, doctors and health professionals now have a full menu of options to treat alcohol use disorders. Building on this progress, scientists continue to work on new medications and discover new ways to improve the effectiveness, accessibility, quality, and cost-­effectiveness of treatment for people who have alcohol use disorders. What is alcoholism & how do we treat it? Alcohol Use Disorder / Kati Morton
Stimulants, such as tobacco, cocaine or prescription amphetamines, stimulate the brain and nervous system, causing increased alertness. Depressants, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines, slow activity in the brain and nervous system, causing relaxation. Hallucinogens, such as LSD and PCP, drastically disrupt the way the brain and nervous system communicate, causing hallucinations. Rehab: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
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