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Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says

5: Where cocaine has its effects in the brain

Localization of cocaine in the brain

Using cocaine as an example, we can describe how drugs interfere with brain functioning. When a person snorts, smokes, or injects cocaine, it travels to the brain via the bloodstream. Although it reaches all areas of the brain, its euphoric effects are mediated in a few specific areas, especially those associated with the reward pathway discussed in the previous image.

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National Institute of Drug Abuse (2007). 5: Where cocaine has its effects in the brain. In Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says. Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction/section-i/5-where-cocaine-has-its-effects-in-brain

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