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, 9 (1-2), 9-26

Addictiveness of Central Stimulants


Addictiveness of Central Stimulants

C A Dackis et al. Adv Alcohol Subst Abuse.


Central stimulants have been abused since their inception and we are currently in the midst of a cocaine epidemic that challenges our resources and capabilities. Through their actions on powerful endogenous reward centers, central stimulants produce intense euphoria that reinforces subsequent usage and eventual dependence. Considerable evidence indicates that the activation of dopamine circuits mediates stimulant reward. With regard to cocaine, it has been hypothesized that depletion of central dopamine leads to craving. Euphoria and craving, the key dynamics of stimulant addiction, may therefore result largely from neurochemical alterations of dopamine systems in the brain's reward center. Progressive deterioration of the stimulant addict involving medical, psychiatric, and psychosocial impairment occurs rapidly, underscoring the addiction potential of these agents. Tolerance, sensitization and withdrawal phenomena are discussed from clinical and neurochemical perspectives.

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