All drugs of abuse impact the mesolimbic reward system, activated by dopamine. Romantic love stimulates parts of the same pathway with the same chemical, dopamine. (Fisher, Helen. Why We Love. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2004, pp 182-186)

Drug addiction is a brain disease, based on the power of substances to fool the brain into responding as it would to natural neurotransmitters. Drugs of abuse impact the pleasure centers of the brain including the mesolimbic reward system. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Secret Life of the Brain. Washington D.C.: The Dana Press and Joseph Henry Press, 2001, p 82)

The pain pleasure center in the limbic area transfers information (e.g., opiate bliss) to the frontal cortex. It is only at this point that conscious ideas are formed about what is being felt. The experience itself occurs at a preconscious, physiological level. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind (audiocassettes). CO: Sounds True, 2000)

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