Due date 6-22-2017 Consider the neurobiology of our most basic drives. How do substance-abuse disorders most notably interfere with these basic human drives and the areas of the brain that control them? Support your position. Due date 6-24-2017 What does it mean to be “normal” or “abnormal,” and to what extent does your place in a given culture at a moment in history influence this? Support your position. Purchase the answer to view it
The neurobiology of our most basic drives is a complex and multifaceted topic that has been the subject of extensive research in the field of neuroscience. These basic drives, which include hunger, thirst, and sexual desire, are fundamental to our survival and well-being as human beings. In order to understand how substance-abuse disorders interfere with these drives, it is necessary to first examine the areas of the brain that control them.
The hypothalamus is a key structure in the brain that plays a critical role in regulating these basic drives. It is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body by coordinating various physiological processes such as hunger, thirst, and sexual behavior. The hypothalamus receives input from various parts of the body, including the gastrointestinal system, and sends signals to other brain regions to regulate these drives.
Substance-abuse disorders, such as drug addiction, can have significant effects on the neurobiology of these basic drives. Drugs of abuse, such as opioids and stimulants, can directly affect the functioning of the hypothalamus and other brain regions involved in regulating these drives. For example, opioids can suppress appetite and reduce thirst, while stimulants can increase appetite and thirst. These effects on the hypothalamus can disrupt the normal regulation of hunger and thirst, leading to abnormal eating and drinking behaviors.
Furthermore, substance-abuse disorders can also interfere with the reward system in the brain, which is closely linked to the basic drives. The reward system is a complex network of brain regions, including the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex, that plays a key role in motivation, pleasure, and reinforcement. When we engage in rewarding activities, such as eating or having sex, the reward system is activated and releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward.
Drugs of abuse can hijack the reward system, leading to an abnormal release of dopamine and a disruption of the normal reward process. This can result in a dysregulation of the basic drives, as individuals with substance-abuse disorders may prioritize obtaining and using drugs over satisfying their basic physiological needs. For example, a person with a drug addiction may neglect their hunger and thirst in favor of obtaining and using drugs, leading to malnutrition and dehydration.
In addition to these neurobiological effects, substance-abuse disorders can also interfere with the social and psychological aspects of these basic drives. For example, individuals with drug addictions may engage in risky sexual behaviors, putting themselves at a higher risk for sexually transmitted infections. They may also neglect their personal hygiene and social interactions, leading to social isolation and decreased quality of life.
Overall, substance-abuse disorders can have profound effects on the neurobiology of our most basic drives. They can interfere with the functioning of the hypothalamus and other brain regions involved in regulating these drives, leading to abnormal eating, drinking, and sexual behaviors. Furthermore, substance-abuse disorders can disrupt the reward system, leading to a dysregulation of the basic drives and a prioritization of drug use over satisfying physiological needs. The social and psychological consequences of substance-abuse disorders can further compound these effects, leading to significant impairment in individuals’ overall well-being.
To support this position, numerous studies have investigated the effects of substance abuse on the neurobiology of hunger, thirst, and sexual behavior. These studies have utilized various techniques, such as neuroimaging and animal models, to examine the neural circuits and neurotransmitter systems involved in these basic drives and their dysregulation in the context of substance abuse. Additionally, clinical studies have examined the effects of substance-abuse disorders on individuals’ eating, drinking, and sexual behaviors, as well as their social and psychological well-being.