What turns people to drugs? That’s a question always under debate, and one that has multiple answers.
Watch Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, talk to genConnect about what factors make drugs appealing to people, and how no one is completely immune to their allure:
WATCH: Dr. Nora Volkow – U.S. Drug Abuse Problem Needs to be Faced
“There are multiple factors that determine” whether one will be attracted to drugs, Dr. Volkow says. “At the essence, it has to do with the fact that our brain is hard-wired to respond to pleasure, particularly when it is immediate… When someone takes a drug, it is very very rewarding. So biologically, we have a vulnerability to seek rewards, so, therefore, drugs can be very appealing.”
While whether one’s attraction and dependence on drugs depends on other factors such as one’s environment and support system, one is much more likely to turn to drugs if that’s the only outlet to obtain such a reward, Dr. Volkow explains. This means, for example, that people in lower economical classes may be more at risk than others.
“Having said that, one should not become complacent because the reality is, addiction does not discriminate and people can become addicted, no matter from what educational achievement you have or socioeconmical or ethnicity,” Dr. Volkow says. “No one is completely invulnerable to it.”
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