Here is another example of what science has shown us about the long-term effects of drugs. What this PET scan shows us is how just 10 days of drug use can produce very dramatic and long-term changes in the brain of a monkey. The drug in these images is amphetamine, or what some people call “speed.” Remember the previous image showed us what the brain of a chronic cocaine abuser looks like. This image shows us what using a drug like amphetamine can do in only 10 days to the brain of a monkey.
This image also gives us a better idea of what methamphetamine, a drug similar in structure, can do to the brain. Methamphetamine use is becoming increasingly popular in certain areas of the country.
The top row shows us, in white and red, normal brain activity. The second row shows us that same brain 4 weeks after being given amphetamine for 10 days. There is a dramatic decrease in brain activity. This decreased brain activity continues for up to 1 year after amphetamine use. These continuous brain changes often trigger other changes in social and emotional behavior, too, including a possible increase in aggressiveness, feelings of isolation, and depression.
Explores the consequences of drug abuse on the brain and body and introduces the topics of prevention, and treatment.
As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.