One pathway important to understanding the effects of drugs on the brain is called the reward pathway. The reward pathway involves several parts of the brain, some of which are highlighted in this image: the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the nucleus accumbens, and the prefrontal cortex. When activated by a rewarding stimulus (e.g., food, water, sex), information travels from the VTA to the nucleus accumbens and then up to the prefrontal cortex.
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NIDA (2016). Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says. Retrieved , from https://www.drugabuse.gov/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction-what-science-says
Explores the consequences of drug abuse on the brain and body and introduces the topics of prevention, and treatment.