Pharmacology Psych Meds Patho #5

Question

Why is it thought that dopamine is associated with individuals addicted to drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine?

Answers

  1. Dopamine’s association with the reward system
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because addiction to drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, is associated with dopamine’s connection with the reward and pleasure system in the brain. The “pleasure center” of the brain is stimulated when dopamine is released which reinforces addictive behaviors.

  2. Dopamine’s association with alertness
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because dopamine is not associated with alertness. Norepinephrine is most associated with alertness.

  3. Dopamine’s association with decreasing the blood pressure
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because dopamine does not decrease blood pressure. It stimulates peripheral vasoconstriction, which increases blood pressure.

  4. Dopamine’s association with increased sleep and mood
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because dopamine is not associated with increased sleep and mood. Serotonin is most related to increasing sleep and mood.

Overview

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which, if in adequate amounts in the body, the client produces good motivation, determination, pleasure, and motor abilities. It is associated with the reward and pleasure system so addiction is associated with dopamine.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Dopamine is a catecholamine, neurotransmitter in the brain which is responsible for motivation, determination, pleasure, and good motor function. Due to dopamine’s connection with the pleasures and reward system, addiction to drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine is associated with dopamine. Dopamine’s uses include treating low blood pressure, increasing perfusion of the kidneys, and treating shock. Carbidopa-levodopa is a preparation which increases levels of dopamine in Parkinson’s disease clients who have a low level of dopamine.

Test Taking Tip

“Feed your brain” by eating high carbohydrate foods before a test. This will help your brain function optimally.

Video Rationale