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NIDA

The Brain & the Actions of Cocaine, Opiates, and Marijuana

1: Introduction

Introduction - picture of brain

Introduce the topic of your talk. Indicate that you will explain how the brain basically works and how drugs such as cocaine, opiates and marijuana interact with the brain's normal activities. Tell students that you will introduce the concept of "reward" which is the property that is characteristic of many addictive drugs. Describe the brain as a functional unit; it is made up of billions of nerve cells (neurons) that communicate with each other using electrical and chemical signals.

This page was last updated January 2007

NIDA Publications

NIDA Notes: The Latest in Drug Abuse Research

Teaching Packets

Explores the consequences of drug abuse on the brain and body and introduces the topics of prevention, and treatment.