What are endorphins?

Endorphins are natural pain killing substances found in the human brain. The name comes from endogenous (meaning within) and morphine (morphine being a pain killer). Endorphins are one of the neurotransmitters in the brain. Levels of endorphins in the brain may be changed by taking a number of drugs including alcohol, anabolic steroids and heroin and other opiates.

Electro-acupuncture has been used to stimulate the production of endorphins to help reduce withdrawal symptoms in heroin users. The theory is that by stimulating the body’s natural opiates, they take over as the heroin leaves the body making withdrawal less traumatic.

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