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Love And Drug Addiction Share The Same Chemistry

by Medindia Content Team on  December 6, 2005 at 2:17 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Love And Drug Addiction Share The Same Chemistry
Researchers have come with a novel finding that love and addiction may go hand in hand due to shared similarities. For example, the physiological effects manifested as a result of dopamine release (neurotransmitter) after having seen somebody attractive are nothing more than a simulation of the effects observed following drug abuse with cocaine or marijuana. In addition, both love and drug abuse leaves the user with an insatiable feeling, probing for a want or craving.
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A number of changes take place inside the human body as the brain is processing feelings of love. The heart starts beating thrice as fast as the normal rate (72 beats/minute). There is an increased blood flow to the cheeks (blushing) and sexual organs (sensation of butterflies in the stomach). The only difference between drug abuse in this regard is that the above-mentioned effect is less pronounced.

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Furthermore, the study also highlights the fact that 'Birds of the same feather flock together'. In other words people tend to look for mates with similar features to themselves.

"It might look like we are all after the perfect partner to wine and dine but underneath, our animal instincts are seeking out an ideal mate to share our genes with. We tend to go for the smell of somebody who has a very different immune system and that stops you fancying your family. Our biology drives us to find a perfect compromise between sameness and difference and we strike that balance all the time when it comes to choosing faces and smells", according to a senior researcher involved in the study.

The study also states that the frequency of sex determines the bonding between two individuals. Better is the bonding when the partners have sex often. Even if a person has frequent sex with somebody he/she doesn't love, there's a good chance to get trapped in love with the same person over a period of time. Moreover, the fundamental aim of the human body to reproduce and multiply would be sufficient to drag you in that direction.

The development of this want and bonding confers love it's addictive powers and accounts for the withdrawal symptoms following a break up. Following such findings may be it is time to better understand why love failure leads to habit formation in most of the cases. Perhaps such explorations could eventually pave way for the effective treatment of depression and drug abuse.
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