Certain drugs cause addictions. They are addictive because they bind to receptors in the brain.
Addiction are the result of spatial similarities.
Why some natural products are very addictive while others are less so and the great preponderance, not at all, is due to the physical structure of the plant compound.
Those, whose structure binds perfectly with receptors in the brain are highly addictive.
When drugs bind to membrane receptors in the brain, euphoria results.
Unhealthy foods are also addictive.
Sugar, fat and salt target the reward center in the brain. These foods ability to be addictive is, like cocaine and heroin, based on receptors in the brain.
Addictions are not simply flaws in character. They are a chemical dependency based on the phenomenon called receptor recruitment.
All addictions utilize this same molecular mechanism.
Cigarettes, narcotics, painkillers, mood elevators, tranquilizers, anti anxiety, attention deficit drugs, pornography, virtual violence, and alcohol create their addictions by stimulating the synthesis of the respective receptor or by prolonging the effect at their binding sites.
Many send signals via the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that regulates pleasure and gratification. others bind as endorphins to dull pain.
Once receptors are formed they locate themselves on the nuclear membrane and await a ligand to bind with. Once bound, this receptor-ligand complex enters the DNA matrix and stimulates more receptor production. More receptors means more receptors in waiting.
Receptors embedded in membranes will remain in a state of agitation until bound. When these type receptors become bound or stimulated, they produce euphoria.
When receptors remain unbound they become agitated and irritable.
It is the receptor-ligand complex that binds to DNA and that results in more receptors in waiting. These are the first neurons that fire. They culminate elsewhere.
The biological process by which all herbs, drugs and foods produce their effects is through receptor binding.
Receptor binding is the attachment of a ligand to a binding domain on a nerve cell.
The stimulation may originate elsewhere but all sensations are felt, perceived or otherwise understood, by the neuron exchanges that take place in the brain.
Specific areas control specific functions. One area of interest is the reward and gratification center.
Despite many distinct actions in the brain, all types of addictions converge in producing a common action, activation of the brain's reward circuitry.
The most important part of this circuitry is the mesolimbic dopamine system.
Compounds that result in bindings in this system are addictive. All addictions that lead to dopamine bindings in the Ventral Tegmental area of the brain are based on reward-related motivation.
These dopamine receptors respond to both hedonic stimulants as well as negative ones.
Eating chocolate and living through an earthquake both involve increased amounts of dopamine.
Proper binding is indicative of health. Excessive binding results in addiction.
Improper receptor binding is responsible for most diseases throughout the body. This is especially true when carbohydrates or fats are involved.
Addictions take place in the brain. It is a chronic process by which steady-state levels of a substance becomes incorporated into normal being.
Addiction requires the need for greater doses to achieve the same result or experience. This is termed tolerance.
Un-satisfaction, due to the absence of the drug, is dependence.
Tolerance and dependence are the classical signs of drug addiction.
Unhealthy foods are less tasty than the natural whole foods they replace. Yet they are craved more because they stimulate an increase in anandamide receptor synthesis. Anandamide or cannabinoid receptors are bound by marijuana and have a role in gratification.
Opioid-like drugs, the strongest drugs prescribed to relieve pain, act by binding to a select group of receptors (known as mu) in the brain.
Unfortunately those drugs, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet and their equivalents are highly addictive.
The effectiveness of opioids in relieving pain is unrivaled, as is their potential for addiction.
There is an alarming increase in teenage abuse of opioid drugs. Together with the psycho-stimulants, Adderall and Ritalin used to treat attention deficit disorders, a new generation of Americans are developing addictions to drugs.
The poor become sick because of unhealthy and addictive food, while the insured become addicted to prescription drugs.
Diabetes, allergies, ulcers, heartburn, hypertension, cancer, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, sleeplessness, stress, depression and euphoria are all treated with drugs, pharmaceutical drugs.
Doctors have appointments with patients because patients need these drugs. Drugs are prescribed because they are accepted methods of treatment.
Healing via foods needs to replace drugs.
Nature provides cell membranes with receptors that recognize and bond with specific molecules. This capability or binding, allows cells to obey commands and adapt to its constantly changing environment.
Proper interactions depend on functional molecules matching with the receptor on the membrane.
The creation of new conformations of chemically identical compounds, which the food industry has done, causes metabolic difficulties.
These unanticipated metabolic consequences cause disorders after years of continual exposure. For example, fructose interferes with leptin and ghrelin molecules in the hypothalamus. two molecules that regulate hunger. This help explains the alarming rise of obesity in America and throughout the world.
Receptors are the molecular locks that many different kinds of key can open.
These receptors exist for one purpose and one purpose only, to anxiously await a molecular mate or key.
Binding induces a feeling of satisfaction and euphoria. The lack of a mate on the other hand produces the feeling of irritability and anxiety.
Euphoria returns with another dose of the addictive substance.
The addictive quality of eating made it a target for scientists to exploit. The ability to stimulate the receptors in the reward center is not limited to drugs. Fat, sugar and salt also trigger these receptors.
Corporate interests are best served when people are addicted to the foods, games and inactivity they create. Conversely, the world's drug cartel’s interests are best served when their products are both restricted by law but freely available by prescription.
Drugs are a way of life for many.
They are a way to rebel against the stifling, stressful and oppressive world. They come, somehow, packaged as "cool".
When children experiment with drugs, many develop addictions.
In other children, experimentation addiction does not lead to addiction.
But it is a fact that after repeated exposure to certain molecules, the brain becomes accustomed to their presence and can’t function properly without them.
It is this physiological weakness that marketers are able to exploit and enslave our children.
The interests and forces that benefit from unhealthy children are dependent on the power of addiction.
Their freedom to enslave is not only permitted but is actually subsidized by a government that is out of touch with the needs of its citizens.
Receptors in the brain bind to certain foreign substances. These substances instill euphoria, dulls pain or in some other way causes the sensation of pleasure. Gratification via molecular binding..
Olfactory and gustatory stimuli for example, interact with receptors to produce the sense of smell and taste. Light and sound waves become vision and hearing by their respective receptors.
Receptors become more sensitive to the stimuli, the more they are exposed to them. The chemistry of the brain is significantly altered with just the expectation of stimuli or thought of gratification.
The receptors affinity to bond with a mate, coupled to the discomfort that results from its absence makes a substance, or an activity, or even a feeling addictive. The need to satisfy receptors makes a substance addictive.
Consumers often disregard the lack of taste and nutrition in these foods. They favor them because the chemical changes they cause in the brain produce the feeling of euphoria.
Brain activity is needed to interpret all the sensory data received via the senses. Brain activity is directed by receptor bonding. An addiction occurs when receptors require foreign substances to bind to. The effect of these substances are to either instill euphoria, alter mood or dull pain. They accomplish this by mimicking the natural molecules that normally bind with these receptors (beta-endorphins), or by prolonging the effects of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
On a molecular level, the addictions caused by narcotics, painkillers or food are indistinguishable.
Neurotransmitter are chemical messengers that transmit electrical signals across the gap between nerve cells or synapse. Transmitters are stored in tiny sacs or membrane bound vesicles. The arrival of electrical impulses or action potential causes the vesicles to merge membranes with the nerve and empty its contents into the synapse. This activates the receptor on the other side of the synapse.
The action potential was thus able to “jump the gap” to the adjoining nerve cell.
Nerve endings are specialized secretory machines that synthesize simple amino acid-style transmitters (adrenaline, serotonin).
Some nerves code for slightly larger peptides that need to travel beyond the adjacent neuron to exert their effect.
The transmission of information from one nerve to another is via the release of one of a series of neurotransmitter. These neurotransmitter are small chemicals that can quickly be synthesized or unassembled.
Neurotransmitter have specific receptors that they can bind with.
Catecholamines, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins bind with their respective receptors throughout the brain.
Their collective result determines a person’s mood, drive and feeling. Their cumulative effect makes us feel the way we do.
Neuro transmissions can also occur via small peptides or neuropeptides.
These compounds, factors, or stimulating hormones affect behavior.
Too little or too much or if there are defective receptors, can cause disorders like Parkinson's disease, depression and schizophrenia.
These diseases are treated with drugs that mimic the action of the deficient neurotransmitter or block the overabundant ones from activating receptors.
Nature, too, modulates the supply of neurotransmitter through G protein-coupled receptors. These receptors are named for their ability to activate G proteins. When activated, G- proteins are split into two active components. One, an alpha subunit and the other, a beta-gamma subunit.
These active subunits amplify the original signal of the neurotransmitter.
Receptors are studded along a cell’s membrane. They bind with drugs because of the drugs similarity to the natural or endogenously produced agent.
Serotonin for example can bind with at least fourteen type of membrane receptors. Some receptors types are implicated in causing depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and drug addiction. Others play a role in anxiety, aggression and sleep.
Receptors can be blocked just as well.
Pharmacological treatment of mental disorders involves inhibiting, blocking or in some other way restricting the binding of a receptor.
Its alternative method is to stimulate or amplify the binding of a receptor.
Receptors are capable of causing major changes throughout the body by amplifying the signal via the genetic code.
Peptides gain access to DNA via an escort. The interactions between proteins and escorts are carefully orchestrated to produce a series of turning on and off of genes. These signals can be amplified via hormones or restricted to local nerves.
Steroids on the other hand, gain access to the cell's DNA directly and have no involvement with G-coupled proteins
Addiction begins with exposure to a substance or sensation that gives pleasure to the braiin. The sensation is processed in the hypothalamus the gratification center of the brain.
As the brain continues to be exposed, a feeling of urge takes root when the compound is not present..
Once an urge is satisfied, mental satisfaction follows and intensifies over time.
Feeding the urge produces the classic obsession of addicts. .
The object of that obsession can be a food or a drug. Or it can be a physical activity like sex or violence or an inactivity like social networking.
Exercise is a good addiction. In fact, becoming addicted to exercise is the goal of this website.
Addictions can be to inactive things as well.
Addictions to social networking, video games, music, chatting, gambling and pornography exist. I want to stress the frailty of humans. We are wired to become addicted.
It is a human weakness. It is our need to ease distress.
We can also be programmed to acquire a need, whatever need they want to instill. The altered behavior that this causes is the start of illness.
The mechanisms these drugs and behaviors utilize involve receptor chemistry. The specificities may change but the underlying principles do not.
The salient point is that addiction produces illness.
The triumvirate of nutritional Illnesses (obesity, diabetes and heart disease) are one type of illness that results from addiction.
Addictions are voluntary in the beginning and then take hold of the brain's molecular circuitry causing deep despair when the urge is repressed.
Addictions are behavioral diseases that are preventable or at least correctable.
Physical illnesses that affect the corner addict, weekend druggie or martini warrior use many drugs to manage the pain their life is in.
This is in addition to the mental illness of being an addict.
Nature provided cell membranes with receptors. Receptors are molecular gatekeepers that stud a cell. Their molecualr intelligence provides them with the unique ability to recognize and bind with specific molecules. This capability allows cells to obey the commands from higher up and adapt to a changing environment.
Receptors are the molecular locks that all different kinds of keys can open. These receptors exist for one purpose and one purpose only, to anxiously await a molecular mate or key.
Binding induces a feeling of satisfaction and euphoria, while the lack of a mate produces the feeling of irritability and anxiety. Euphoria returns with an other dose of the addictive substance.
Proper interactions depend on functional molecules (drug, foods or mood molecules) matching properly with its receptor on the outside of the membrane. This model explains the effects drugs as well as hormones, neurotransmitters and growth factors throughout the body, not just the brain. It’s the universal mechanism of biology. The 0s and 1s of Nature.
The creation of new conformations of chemically identical compounds, which the food industry has done with the introduction of trans-fat, high fructose corn syrup and other genetically modified foods, presents unanticipated metabolic consequences for the humans that consume them. Disorders and illnesses appear only after years of exposure.
These foods and the manner in which they are ‘pushed’ are responsible for the increasing unhealthiness of Americans and is the main driving force behind the American epidemic.
Addictions are based on molecular marriages, a kind of chemical intercourse inside the confines of a cell’s membrane.
The binding of one substance, called a ligand, pairing up or binding to its mate or receptor, is the mechanism Nature uses to carry out instructions.
The 0’s and 1’s of biology, the on/off switches of chemistry. The positive and negative spins of life The Yin and Yang of the universe. Whether the receptor is bound or unbound, blocked or unblocked, binding is the yin and yang of the molecular universe.
Bindings or interactions takes place on the surface of a cell, on its membrane or on one its subcellular components. The molecular real estate that receptors control is vital to good health.
Dysfunction or alteration of binding sites causes illness.
Once a receptor becomes bound, it stimulates DNA synthesis of more of its kind. This is the molecular explanation for the phenomena known as tolerance and dependence. Two characteristics, addictive substances are known to possess.
Each individual has their own library of receptors with each tissue having its own limited type. Receptors in blood vessels for example are responsible for regulating cholesterol levels. When they malfunction, atherosclerosis and hypertension occurs. On the other hand, when receptors on muscle and liver cells, which are responsible for regulating sugar levels malfunction, or when the hormone they bind to is malformed, diabetes occurs.
Those in the brain are different. They involve neuropeptides and neurotransmissions and they control homeostasis. Dysfunction here is manifested by anxiety, depression and addiction. Damaged, altered and overstimulated receptors produce disease.
Once receptors are formed, wherever that is, they wait for a ligand to bind with. Receptors embedded in the nerve membranes of addicts remain in an state of agitation until they become bound. The more frequent they become agitated the more powerful the need becomes. They are addicted when they reach a state of perpetual agitation.
When brain receptors are bound or stimulated, they produce what most readers know as euphoria. They become agitated and irritable when they stay unbound.
Depending on the individual’s specific biochemistry, an urge is either reinforced in the brain or buried in its reccesses. Frequent exposure will prevent the urge from ever subsiding.
An addiction develops when there is an overabundance of receptors. Without their ligand to bind with, they remain unbound and in a permanent state of anxiety.
The effect of these ligands to instill euphoria, alter mood and in the case of opiates, dull pain.
Drugs accomplish this by mimicking the structure of the natural pleasure molecule (beta-endorphin), which normally binds to these receptors.
Other ligands produce their effects by prolonging the activity of neurotransmitters (cocaine, amphetamines) or bind to and activate molecular structure known as GABA receptors (alcohol).
Addiction biology is the study of brain pharmacology. Receptor chemistry and the interactions between receptors and drugs explains the effects of drugs. They are the consequence of a ligand binding to a receptor.
Addiction is a chronic process by which steady-state levels of a drug become incorporated into normal biology.
As it progresses, addiction requires the need for greater doses to achieve the same level of experience. This is termed tolerance. Derangement, in the absence of the drug, is known as dependence. Tolerance and dependence are the classical signs of drug addiction.
In addition to tolerance and dependence, every addictive substance produces a characteristic withdrawal syndrome. The severity of the addiction depends on the drug involved and the duration of the addiction.
The symptoms of withdrawal are often opposite to those of the drug. For example, withdrawal from euphoric drugs results in depression and a feeling of hopelessness.
Addiction is based on the interaction between receptors in the brain and small molecules, neuropeptides and neurotransmitters. The large number of different receptors in the brain bind with a library of native ligands to produce the person’s characteristic mood, mentality and drive.
Receptor-ligand binding are Nature’s on/off switches, the 0’s and 1’s of biology,
The coordination of these switches controls brain activity as well as all thoughts, feelings and memories.
Hormones also act via receptors. Through their bindings, the brain is able to regulate the organs involved with reproduction, fluid and mineral balance and metabolism. Receptors determine mood as well as the activity of the immune system.
These interactions including those between the sex and stress hormones, takes place in the hippocampal region of the brain. The hippocampus is involved with memories but also controls brain growth.
Once the brain is developed the only way new growth can ocurr is through the process of neurogenesis (the formation of new pathways). Neurogenesis depends on synaptogenesis and dendritic remodeling. This allows the brain to grow and incorporate new ideas. Neurogenesis is stimulated by exercise and learning and inhibited by chronic stress, inactivity, addictive compounds and lack of learning. This makes up the main cause of senile dementia.
Obesity can be considered a type of addiction and not simply the result of a lack of will power. Obesity needs to be viewed as a psychological problem and treated as chemical imbalance with dietary restraint as one of its tool to reverse the imbalance.
The biological process by all herbs, drugs and foods produce their effects is known as receptor binding. It is based on the molecular marriage between receptor and ligand. This is the universal mechanism of biological activity. The 0’s and 1’s of Nature, The positive and negative spins of life. The Yin and Yang of the universe.
Improper receptor binding is responsible for disease, addiction being one example. Addiction is the substitution of the addicted state for the normal or healthy state.
Addiction is a dependence on natural and unnatural ligands.
The poor become sick because of unhealthy and addictive food, while the insured become addicted to prescription drugs.
The Force of Addiction
Addictive substances are compounds that are structurally similar to natural ligands. These compounds trigger binding in the brain and require gradual increasing amounts to achieve the same effect.
Improper binding by most tissues results in disease, excessive binding in the brain results in addictions. Addictions are due to an increase in receptor formation and the recruitment of those receptors.
In response to initial binding, the neuronal DNA is signaled and instructed to code for more receptors. Receptors, which become exposed on the membrane and remain in their state of heightened anticipation.
Addiction is an overpowering need to use a substance and insure its supply. Addiction is not limited to the use of illegal drugs. Take food for example, consumers disregard the lack of taste and nutrition in fat foods and still choose them. This is because the sensation of fat by the taste receptors in the mouth stimulating the receptors in the brain. These molecular mariages produces the feeling of euphoria.
Alcohol, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, nicotine, and even the compounds in chocolate, exert their effect by binding to receptors. Once the receptor binds to a ligand, a signal is transmitted to the cell’s DNA enabling the synthesis of more receptors.
Binding of receptors and their respective ligands, promotes the sensation of pleasure, the hardest emotion to resist.
Cigarettes, narcotics, painkillers, mood elevators, tranquilizers, antianxiety and attention deficit drugs, alcohol and the other controlled substance analogs, create their addictions by stimulating an increase in the synthesis of these pleasing or blissful receptors.
The ultimate blissful drug is opium. Called the joy plant in present day Iraq, this plant contains morphine, the unrivaled king of producing euphoria.
The effectiveness of opioids in relieving pain is likewise unrivaled, as is their potential for addiction. Opioid-like drugs, the strongest drugs prescribed to relieve pain, act by binding to a select group of receptors (known as mu) in the brain. Unfortunately those drugs, Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Percocet are extremely addictive. And more unfortunately, is the ease with which they can be obtained. Especially when they are stocked in
There is an alarming increase in teenage abuse of these opioid drugs, courtesy of their parent’s medicine cabinets. Together with the psychostimulants, Adderall and Ritalin, two drugs used to treat attention deficit disorders, a new generation of Americans will develop addictions to drugs.
Brain activity is affected by drugs because they bind to the same receptors as the neurotransmitters that regulate mood, motivation and drive. The more frequent a person is exposed to a substance, an image, a feeling, the more intense the urge becomes.
Receptors become more sensitive to stimuli, the more they are exposed to them. Receptors are also more sensitive when they exist in higher numbers. So much so, that the chemistry of the brain can be significantly altered with just the expectation or thought of gratification.
Fast-food restaurants capitalize on this by serving food that is rich in fat while snack manufacturers embed their products with high fructose corn syrup and genetically modified foods. (GMFs). The signals that are sent from the taste receptors in the mouth are computed via a series of bindings that occur in the brain.
Consumers disregard the lack of taste and nutrition in these foods but choose them because the chemical changes in the brain gives them that same feeling of euphoria, although to a less profound extent, that opiods provide.