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Drugs and the Brain

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New high-resolution, non-invasive imaging techniques produce detailed diagrams of neural tracts, enabling new analyses of how brain regions are connected. Credit: Washington University – University of Minnesota Human Connectome Project consortium (http://humanconnectome.org/).
See more Brain Images on the NIDA web site

Brief Description

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 abuse that marks addiction. As a result, NIDA supports a large body of neuroscience research that can provide clues how better to manage and prevent substance use disorders.


Effects of Specific Drugs on the Brain

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Past information on many drugs of abuse is available on our Archives site.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies in human volunteers conducted to answer specific health questions. Learn about the NIH-sponsored clinical trials available to you.

Other Clinical Trials information sources:

This page was last updated April 2015

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    NIDA (2015). Drugs and the Brain. Retrieved , from https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/drugs-brain

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