SPECT studies: damage from substance abuse is immediately apparent. The normal brain is smooth, symmetrical, and full.
- Heroin – decreased activity throughout
- Cocaine – multiple small holes across cerebral cortex
- Alcohol – shriveled tissue
- Marijuana – areas eaten away (e.g., temporal lobe regions)
(Amen, Daniel G., MD. Change Your Brain Change Your Life. p 242-245. NY:Times Books, 1998.)
Drugs, legal and illegal, can interrupt feedback loops that allow the psychosomatic network to function in a natural, balanced way. They can set up conditions for somatic and mental disorders. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Molecules of Emotion. p 273-274. NY:Scribner, 1997.)
Studies at UC San Francisco: Addiction is caused by more than the pharmacological effects of a given drug, Drug addiction is a life-long disease. Although drug-taking behaviors may be absent, the ‘memory’ makes relapse not only possible but likely. (Science News. Cocaine Addiction Linked To Voluntary Drug Use And Cellular Memory, Study Shows. 2008 likely. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080730155352.htm)