En español



Quick Links

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

1: Localization of cocaine "binding sites"

Localization of cocaine binding sites

When a person smokes or snorts cocaine, it travels quickly to the brain. Although it reaches all areas of the brain, it concentrates in some specific areas. These are highlighted with the turquoise sprinkles; the VTA, the nucleus accumbens, and the caudate nucleus (lighter turquoise since the caudate is inside the hemisphere). Point out that cocaine concentrates especially in the reward areas that you have just discussed. Cocaine accumulation in other areas such as the caudate nucleus can explain other effects such as increased stereotypic behaviors (pacing, nail-biting, scratching, etc..)

This page was last updated November 2019

Get this Publication

Ordering Publications

Call 1-877-643-2644 or:
NIDA Drug Pubs
Cite this article

NIDA. (2019, November 19). The Brain & the Actions of Cocaine, Opioids, and Marijuana. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/brain-actions-cocaine-opioids-marijuana

press ctrl+c to copy

Teaching Packets

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

Lesson Plan and Activity Finder

Mind Matters