Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by changes in the brain which result in a compulsive desire to use a drug. A combination of many factors including genetics, environment and behavior influence a person's addiction risk, making it an incredibly complicated disease. The new science of addiction considers all of these factors - from biology to family - to unravel the complexities of the addicted brain.
This site includes animated interactive activities on the following: Making and labeling the parts of a neuron; Synapses and neurotransmitters: How neurons talk to each other; Drugs of abuse; Mouse Party (effects of various drugs); Cerebral Commando (neurotransmitters and synapse modulation by drugs); Genetic pedigree analysis of addiction.
The site also includes "take a closer look" pages on the following: Glia and other brain cells; Reward pathways; Drug delivery methods; How dugs can kill; Brain imaging techniques; Genetics of addiction; Mice as model organisms for addiction research; Environmental risk factors for addiction; Addiction treatments.