Myths about the brain no. 5: Drug use creates holes in the brain

This article isn’t looking at what effects different drugs have on the brain (though I’ll discuss that in another article as it’s a controversial topic) but about the myth that any form of drug use will create physical holes in your brain.

Different drugs have different effects (obviously…) and abusing them can cause serious damage to yourself (they can interfere with your neural pathways, cause addiction etc). One of the main ways it does this is by interfering with the neurons in your brain by binding to neuron receptors. They can then mimic the effect of different neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) and make these receptors under- or over-sensitive to neurotransmitters and this has a major impact on your brain and how it functions. (For more detail on this process, check out this Scientific American article). They can also change the structure of your brain, depending on what drug you abuse. But what they do not do is create actual holes in your brain. The only thing that can create holes is physical trauma.


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