A Shot of Dopamine

Crack babies. Yeah, I was born a crack baby. But weren’t we all?

Life is all about chemicals, of course. We humans have free will—well, sort of—but we nearly always take the easiest path. And it’s really easy to just follow our impulses.

Dopamine. Well, not only dopamine, but mostly dopamine. It’s all-natural crack. It counters other natural chemicals—well, kind of—like testosterone. Dopamine triggers things like love, lust, adultery, gambling, alcoholism, sex, rape, violence, murder. Dopamine directs our attention and generates emotions. Dopamine does a lot of things. It’s nearly as complex as serotonin. But don’t get me started on that.

Before there’s a relationship between two people, there’s a relationship between two synapses. That relationship depends upon dopamine. She’s not receptive unless her receptors are. In short, your tendencies are set by how much dopamine your body releases, where it releases it and when.

Until now.

Okay. I’m not a doctor but I used to play one on TV (you might recognize me from The New Medicine Woman) and I got fed up with all those temperamental people in the entertainment business. So I did something about it. That’s how it came to be. Me and a real doctor worked together and designed the thing.

The dopamine pump.

This happened just before the revolution, but afterwards the new healthcare plan came out and the pump is fully covered—for everyone. Pretty much everybody has one now and our most extreme impulses have been moderated.

To some it sounds like a dystopia. The government keep us sedated with drugs while ruling ruthlessly over us. Except that’s not the case. Top government officials, top business leaders, and other prominent people are all on the pump.

As for me, I don’t need crack anymore. And my parents are off that stuff, too. My dad was a hedge fund manager back then and the stress got to him and he didn’t like regular cocaine—it didn’t do the job—so he went to crack. With my mother. I suppose it was love but it was also dopamine.

Yeah, life is a little less exciting with no murders, no out of control anger or hatred, no boundless greed, no powerful irrational fears. Now, everything is in moderation. Now our troubles are existential which is troubling but not all that bad. But we can live with that. We have to.