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So what do you do, if you are addicted to smoking cigarettes and you want to stop? When use of an addictive drug like nicotine is stopped, the
level of signaling along the many affected pathways will change to levels far from normal.
If the drug is not reintroduced, the altered level of signalling will eventually induce the nerve cells to once again make compensatory changes
that restore an appropriate balance of activities within the brain.
Over time, receptor numbers, their sensitivity, and patterns of release of neurotransmitters all revert to normal, once again producing normal
levels of signalling along the pathways.
There is no way to avoid the down side. The pleasure pathways will not function at normal levels until the number of receptors on the affected
nerve cells have time to readjust.
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