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NIDA

Bringing the Power of Science to Bear on Drug Abuse and Addiction

1: Control centers in the brain are affected by drug use

Control centers in the brain are affected by drug use

Drugs of abuse disable or disrupt important brain functions.

When someone smokes marijuana, for example, the chemical THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, travels quickly to the brain. We can see the areas of the brain (in dark pink) where THC concentrates. Let’s go back to the previous image and see the areas of the brain that are affected by THC.

[PRESENTER: Please return to the previous image and point out these areas.]

You can see that THC builds up in areas that control the body’s movements, balance, coordination, memory and judgment abilities, and sensations. THC disrupts your brain’s ability to control these activities as well as you could normally.

This page was last updated January 2007