Download Addiction : from biology to drug policy by Avram Goldstein PDF

By Avram Goldstein

Content material: medications and the mind. Neurotransmitters : the brain's personal medicines -- Receptors : locks for the addictive keys -- Addictive habit -- soreness and delight -- The seesaw mind : "highs" and diversifications -- Are addicts born or made? the medication and the addicts. Nicotine -- Alcohol and similar medications -- Heroin, morphine, and different opiates -- Cocaine and amphetamines -- hashish (Marijuana) -- Caffeine -- Hallucinogens. medications and society. Prevention : simply say no? -- Treating habit, combating relapse -- 3 classes from the road -- 3 classes from in a foreign country -- Prohibition vs. legalization : a fake dichotomy -- New innovations for rational drug coverage

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Extra resources for Addiction : from biology to drug policy

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Conditions were not ripe, technology was not adequate, peptides (as the morphinelike substances in the brain turned out to be) were not even known—indeed, the amino acids themselves had not yet been discovered. When, three-quarters of a century later, the substances postulated by Mavrojannis were finally identified, his paper had been lost in the obscurity of forgotten archives. , made by the organism) opioid peptides had a great influence on the way scientists view drug addiction. They are called opioid (meaning "like opiates") because their biologic actions resemble those of morphine and other opiates.

Nicotine, when delivered to the brain in a smoker's blood, combines with certain nicotinic receptors, mimicking the actions of acetylcholine. The Neurotransmitters The first neurotransmitters to be identified were, like acetylcholine, compact molecules composed of only 25 or so atoms. Called biogenie amines, most of them—though not acetylcholine itself—are related to one or another of the 20 amino acids that serve as build- Fig. 2: Acetylcholine receptors in brain. Neurotransmitters: The Brain's Own Drugs \ 25 ing blocks for all the proteins in the body.

Once we have identified a colony that does bind our ligand, we have only to retrieve that plasmid DNA and amplify it (make more of it) by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)—the same method used with tiny amounts of DNA to identify or exonerate criminal suspects. Then all that remains is to sequence that DNA—a procedure that is now automated and rapid, as used typically in the Human Genome Project. Thus, we obtain the full sequence of base triplets that specifies the receptor, and the sequence of amino acids in the receptor can be deduced, even though the receptor itself was previously unknown.

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