What is Euphoria?

Euphoria is a feeling of intense pleasure or happiness often described as a “high.” In the context of addiction, euphoria is a common effect of substance use, especially with drugs that act on the brain’s reward system, such as opioids, stimulants, and alcohol. These substances cause the release of large amounts of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, which leads to feelings of euphoria. Substance-induced euphoria is one of the key factors contributing to the development and maintenance of addiction, as individuals may continue to use drugs to recreate the pleasurable feelings associated with drug use. Over time, tolerance to the euphoric effects of drugs can develop, and individuals may need to use larger amounts of the drug to experience the same level of pleasure. This can increase the risk of developing a substance use disorder or, worse, an overdose.

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