The Science of a Heroin Overdose: When the Brain Stops Saying "Enough"

The pleasure center, increasingly hard to satisfy, is screaming "More!" But primitive centers that control breathing and heart rate are not building up tolerance at the same pace and are whispering "Enough."

"A heroin overdose happens because use of the drug alters the neurons within every addict's brain—but the alterations occur in different parts of the brain at varying rates of speed."


So explains Susan Brink in National Geographic, in debunking some of the common misconceptions about the kind of overdose that likely killed the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. An accidental overdose, in fact, is not as simple as an addict simply consuming too much. 

"The pleasure center, increasingly hard to satisfy, is screaming "More!" Brink explains. "But primitive centers that control breathing and heart rate are not building up tolerance at the same pace and are whispering "Enough."

Read more here

In the video below, professor Carl Hart talks about the right way and the wrong way to define a drug addiction.

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Keep reading Show less

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
Keep reading Show less