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Author Archives: Dirkh


Nicotine is a naturally occurring organic compound. It is an alkaloid, a family of nitrogen-containing chemicals that includes caffeine, quinine, and morphine. Nicotine has potent stimulating effects on the human body, even though it only accounts for about 5 percent of a typical tobacco plant. An average cigarette contains from 10 to 20 milligrams of nicotine. Nicotine passes quickly into ... Read More »


Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter. One of the primary “pleasure chemicals” in the brain, dopamine is found in areas of the brain linked to experiences of joy and reward. In addition, dopamine pathways play a role in carrying signals related to attention, movement, problem solving, and pleasure. Brain chemistry blogs that discuss dopamine and other neurochemicals include BrainBlogger and Neurotopia. ... Read More »


The best-known North American contribution to the world drug trade has always been tobacco. Tobacco pipes have been found among the earliest Aztec and Mayan ruins. “Drinking” the smoke of tobacco leaves was an established New World practice long before European contact. In 1964, the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health laid out the case for the long-term ill ... Read More »

Alcoholics Anonymous

Despite recent progress in the medical understanding of addictive disease, the amateur self-help group known as Alcoholics Anonymous, and its affiliate, Narcotics Anonymous, are still regarded by many experts as an essential mode of treatment for recovering addicts. One of the oldest approaches to alcoholism, the movement arose in 1935 when an Ohio alcoholic named Bill Wilson teamed up with ... Read More »

medical marijuana

Marijuana as a medicine remains a subject of intense debate, but roughly a dozen states now allow doctors to prescribe marijuana or THC in cases where it is medically indicated, such as glaucoma and the nausea associated with intensive chemotherapy. Because of medical marijuana usage at the state level, blogs have sprung up to provide information and debate the merits ... Read More »


Drugs are chemical compounds intended for use in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. More informally, a drug is any non-food substance that causes changes in the structure or function of the body. Drugs have played a major role in the history of medicine. Perhaps the most famous example is the accidental discovery of penicillin, a drug which proved to ... Read More »


Addiction is recognized as a disease by most major health authorities. The primary symptom is loss of control over the use of one or more addictive drugs, including alcohol. Treatment consists of counseling and new prescription medications designed to bring about abstinence. Older methods like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are still successful for many. There are hundreds of blogs devoted to ... Read More »