The human brain is the most complex organ in the body—you need it to drive a car, to enjoy a meal, to breathe, to create an artistic masterpiece, and to enjoy everyday activities. In brief, the brain regulates your body’s basic functions; enables you to interpret and respond to everything you experience; and shapes your thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Drugs, however, can alter important brain areas that are necessary for life-sustaining functions and can drive the compulsive drug use that marks addiction. As a result, NIDA supports a large body of neuroscience research that can provide clues about how better to manage and prevent substance use disorders.
Effects of Specific Drugs on the Brain
- Commonly Used Drugs Charts
- NIDA for Teens Drug Facts on Brain and Addiction - Offers resources for teens and teen influencers. Get the latest on how drugs affect the brain and body. Feature videos, games, blog posts, and more!
- Easy-to-Read Drug Facts on How Drug Use Hurts the Brain - Has pictures and videos to help readers understand the text. The website also can read each page out loud.
- Neuroscience Consortium
- Keeping Youth Drug Free (SAMHSA)
- Opioids and Adolescents (Office of Adolescent Health)
- Video: "Adolescent Substance Use, Addiction, and Treatment" with Sarah Bagley, M.D. (Office of Adolescent Health)
- MEDLINEplus Health Information on Drug Abuse (National Library of Medicine, NIH)
- Healthfinder.gov (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Clinical trials are research studies in human volunteers conducted to answer specific health questions. Learn about the NIH-sponsored clinical trials available to you.