Drugs and the Brain
Drug abuse is a continuing problem in American society. When a person starts abusing drugs, the effects are like a pebble being thrown into a still pond; ripples carry outward to all other adjacent aspects of that person’s life.
Drug abuse leads to addiction, which directly targets the parts of the brain that we can’t control. This is why addiction is so hard to treat. Drug abuse changes the brain in many different ways, and none for the better. It recalibrates the pleasure-reward pathways in the brain, causing functional and structural brain damage along the way.
Drugs and the Brain is cool because it demystifies the basic processes behind drug addiction. In the class, students have the opportunity to examine how drugs affect the brain by looking at the process of addiction and how each drug causes particular damage to the brain. After they know more about the brain and how it works, students learn about the behavioral patterns that begin to appear as a result of the brain damage, including those that cause problems for the individual, family, workplace and society in general.
Students will be able to use the knowledge gained in this course for the rest of their lives. They’ll be able to help those they believe may fall victim to drug addiction, and they will be able to identify why addicted individuals behave the way they do. These skills will help them enrich the lives of their loved ones and acquaintances, as well as their communities as a whole.