What Are Neurotransmitters?

Learn how Neurotransmitters work and why it matters

What are Neurotransmitters?

Understanding what neurotransmitters are, involves understanding what they do and how they react both to one another and environmental factors.

Neurotransmitters are the neurochemical messengers responsible for transmitting nerve impulses across the synapses of the nervous system. There are different types of neurotransmitters which make up systems that produce unique reactions within the brain when released, causing us to experience various feelings and sensations.

Every individual has innate levels of each of these neurotransmitters. Those innate levels are affected by internal and external forces such as hormones, environment, drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications.

Understanding How Neurotransmitter Systems Work

Each neurotransmitter is a part of one of many diverse neurotransmitter systems, for example; the GABA, the serotonin or the dopamine neurotransmitter system.

Each of the neurotransmitter systems consists of what are neurotransmitters themselves, their receptor sites, and neurons. Many people are born with imbalances within these systems, which often lead to a plethora of complications including bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression problems, and even chemical dependency. The neurotransmitter systems are susceptible to further damage from drug and alcohol abuse.

However, this damage is normally reversible with proper treatment that includes adjusting neurotransmitter systems.

The Relationship Between Neurotransmitters & Chemical Dependency

Aside from explaining ‘what are neurotransmitters’ and their role in chemical dependency, Addiction Medicine Specialist Dr. Von Stieff discloses neurotransmitters’ influence in various facets of life, including personality, mood, intuition, and memory, in his new book Brain in Balance. Dr. Von Stieff also demonstrates just how integral neurotransmitters are in the science of addiction, craving, drug abuse, and alcoholism, as well as effectual treatment.

“My discussion with Dr. Vonstieff is one of the most influential encounters of my life. He is knowledgeable, compassionate, and inspirational. Reading his book, Brain In Balance, gave me insight into the physiological mechanisms of addiction. This knowledge has helped me on many levels including increasing my understanding of a disease I had previously only known a fraction of.”

- Camille D.

Brain in Balance: Understanding the Genetics and Neurochemistry behind Addiction and Sobriety.