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An influencer has explained why so many people die of overdoses in hotel rooms, and the answer is much more complicated than you’d expect.
Having graduated from the University of California Irvine last summer with a degree in Biological Sciences, Instagrammer Folake Aina, known as @f0lake on the popular social media platform, was asked to give her 31,500 followers a biology fact that would surprise them.
Responding to the Instagram request, the graduate gave what she dubbed a ‘fun fact’ and explained how the location of someone taking drugs can affect how high they get.
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According to Folake, if you take a drug every day at the same time and in the same place, your body becomes conditioned to it so automatically begins to fight the drug with something known as a ‘compensatory response,’ because it recognises the conditions.
This is why, over time, you eventually need more of the drug to achieve a high because your body builds a tolerance to it.
Folake further explained:
Your body knows what’s going on and is combating the drug. BUT, if you alter the conditions at which you take the drug, your body doesn’t produce that response. A lot of people experience accidental overdoses JUST because they took a drug in a new location, their body didn’t know the drug was coming and the ‘compensatory response’ never happed.
‘So, the amount that would usually get them high actually killed them. It’s also why we see a lot of overdoses in hotel rooms!’, she continued.
A study conducted by Texas A&M University in 2000 backs Folake’s theory; the study looked at how environment contributes to a person’s drug tolerance.
Texas A&M psychologist Antonio Cepeda-Benito, who studied the topic for over a decade, told Science Daily:
If the same amount of a drug is administered in one context and later in another different and distinct context, then the effects of the drug are different.
‘The drug has a much greater effect in a novel context rather than in a context that is associated with the administered drug,’ he added.
Cepeda-Benito called this ‘learned tolerance’ and further explained that desensitization to a drug over time can be developed through both repeated use and through a process that involves learning recognising the environment – ie the ‘compensatory response’ Folake refers to.
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