Saturday, 9 May 2015

Why You Must Go for Sex Rather Than Taking Cocaine?

Fall in love 
Twenty-eight-year old Mike was full of enthusiasm as he showed his newly found lover to our correspondent the previous week. He was at the wedding ceremony of his longtime friend, Olusola, when he met Esther. Petite, 5 ft 6 inches, fair complexion, calmness and a set of white shiny teeth obviously endeared Mike to the Ekiti State indigene Accounting graduate.

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Esther was also quick enough to flaunt her engagement ring to our correspondent to prove a point: I have found ‘him.’
After the meeting, Mike narrated to Saturday PUNCH how he had been having sleepless nights ever since he met Esther. “I love her and I am serious about this. I couldn’t have proposed to marry her in just a short while if I didn’t. I’m drunk in her love,” he crowned it all.
Well, scientists have discovered that Mike’s condition is normal. According to researches, falling in love with someone has the same effect on the brain as someone who is high on cocaine.
An American anthropologist and human behaviour researcher, Dr. Helen Fisher, conducted a series of studies on the brain chemistry of love and found out that the same chemicals—dopamine and norepinephrine—are at play in the brain of someone who is falling in love and one who is high on cocaine.
According to cocaine.org, smoking crack cocaine leads to enhanced mood, heightened sexual interest, a feeling of increased self-confidence, greater conversational prowess and intensified consciousness, among other short-term effects.
Fisher suggested that if the words, “smoking crack cocaine,” were replaced with “falling in love,” the latter also leads to enhanced mood, heightened sexual interest, a feeling of increased self-confidence, greater conversational prowess and intensified consciousness.
She added that a further common marker of both falling in love and smoking cocaine is a clear stimulatory effect. Users of cocaine feel that the drug sharpens their focus and allows them to achieve an almost superhuman state of electrifying purpose. Making this connection between the two states of being may provide insight into some of the commonly reported experiences associated with falling in love. For example, the similarity between the two states may explain why new love prompts us to float and flit between our daily activities with a certain glow, bursting with vitality and charged with energy, all while whistling a cheerful tune.
However, Fisher said that unlike crack cocaine, the effects of “falling in love” persist for weeks, months, even two years in some cases. The stimulatory effect of “love crack” may also help explain how lovers are able to stay up night after night for weeks or months on end, staring into each other’s eyes and whispering words of adoration to each other despite having full days of work.
Like Fischer, a researcher and psychologist at the New York State University, Arthur Aron, found out that falling in love affects the brain much like drug addiction. “Falling in love can wreak havoc on your body (just like doing cocaine). Your heart races, your tummy gets tied up in knots, and you’re on an emotional roller coaster, feeling deliriously happy one minute and anxious and desperate the next,” he said in his findings.
His research showed that these intense, romantic feelings come from the brain, and not from the heart, like most people perhaps think.
In the study, which he co-authored with a clinical neurology and brain anatomy specialist, Lucy Brown, the researchers looked at the magnetic resonance images of the brains of 10 women and seven men who claimed to be deeply in love. The length of their relationships ranged from one month to less than two years. The participants were shown photographs of their beloved and photos of a similar-looking person.
The brains of the smitten participants reacted to photos of their sweethearts, producing emotional responses in the same parts of the brain normally involved with motivation and reward.
“Intense passionate love uses the same system in the brain that gets activated when a person is addicted to drugs,” said Aron. “In other words, you start to crave the person you’re in love with like a drug.”
Brown, who also participated in another ground-breaking research about the brain’s reward system with human behaviour specialist, Fisher, found out that the mechanism responsible for the feeling of pleasure in response to stimuli ranging from a sweet taste on the tongue to a message received on a social network was also responsible for the creation of habits and addictions.
Brown and Fisher have scanned the brains of hundreds of lovesick or broken-hearted people. All were scanned during the three months after falling in love or after difficult separations.
They compared the scans, and after a long series of scientific articles, they began to carefully interpret what Brown called “the almost complete paralysis of the decision-making system.”
“When you fall in love, basic impulses interfere with discretion, and there are chemicals released in the brain that affect perception and behaviour. These chemicals have been identified over the past two decades, and their effects on mood and on mental states are now very clear,” Brown explained.
In the findings of Brown and Fisher which were published in 2010, it was demonstrated that the way the brain reacts when someone views a photo of a person they compulsively desire is similar to the way it reacts after using cocaine.
“Falling in love is an addiction,” Fisher declared after the results were published. “My guess is that modern addictions such as nicotine, drugs, sex or gambling simply capture the same internal channels which were developed millions of years ago by the brain for the feeling of romantic attraction.”
In support of the study, another psychologist, Shauna Springer, said that all relationships begin with the “cocaine rush” phase. She described the phase as an initial period of intense, highly pleasurable bonding based on the mutual fantasy that the two lovers are ideally matched and perfectly suited for each other.
She maintained that it is during the “cocaine rush” phase that a feeling of having found one’s soul mate has tremendous emotional pull on new lovers.
She said in her study, “I would not be the first person to draw a comparison between the state of falling in love and the state of feeling high on drugs. We’re not talking about the slightly buzzed feeling you might get from drinking a glass or two of wine, but rather about the high-octane euphoria associated with smoking crack cocaine. Falling in love is the best high you can get without breaking any laws.”
A consultant psychologist based in Lagos, Dr. Olubola Adebowale, said she couldn’t agree less to the studies—drawing from her personal experience about 15 years ago when she first fell in love.
She said that when two people fall in love, the brain takes charge more than the heart, adding that the brain chemicals which are released are similar to those with someone who takes cocaine. She said, “That is why you see a guy who can go to any length to do for his lover what he cannot do for anybody else and likewise, the lady. Love intoxicates, just like doing drugs. You dream of the person and see them everywhere you go. It’s more like hallucination.
“It has happened to many of us at some point in time. So instead of doing cocaine and other drugs, now there is an alternative for people: fall in love.”

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