Excerpt from Page 21 – “Why do people have drugs of choice?”

Published August 18, 2016

HOOKED: A concise guide to the underlying mechanics of addiction and treatment for patients, families, and providers | Arwen Podesta, MD

Excerpt from Page 21 – “Why do people have drugs of choice?”

Among my colleagues, we commonly use the words drugs of choice,
abbreviated DOC. I would prefer that the term be most effective
reward
, getting away from the archaic idea that addiction is a choice.
One person may have a positive response or get a high dopamine
spike with a different drug from another. Some people get paranoid
and panicky on uppers, some feel normal, and some get focused and
calm on them. This is due to the underlying neurochemistry and
which neurotransmitter system might be needier. Here is a simplistic
breakdown of how the brain’s chemistry is directly affected by
each type of common drug of abuse. All result in a dopamine spike.