This is your brain on drugs

Brain scans and other studies reveal how drugs hijack your brain

For millennia, psychonauts have ingested both natural and man-made substances to see the world in new ways. Now, brain scans and other studies reveal how these buzz-builders work, helping scientists harness their power for good and expose the roots of addiction.

Scroll over the image below to see how each drug affects your brain.

Illustration by Serge Seidlitz

This article was originally published in the January/February 2017 issue of Popular Science, under the title “Your Brain on Drugs.”

Claire Maldarelli

Claire Maldarelliis the Science Editor at Popular Science. She has a particular interest in brain science, the microbiome, and human physiology. In addition to Popular Science, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scientific American, and Scholastic’s Science World and Super Science magazines, among others. She has a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology from the University of California, Davis and a master’s in science journalism from New York University's Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program. Contact the author here.