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PSY Week 6 Part 1 Drugs

by: merlec16

PSY Week 6 Part 1 Drugs PSY 151

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About this Document

Notes taken on the textbook reading for Drugs p. 296-322.
Introductory Psychology
Ashley L. Heffner
Class Notes
Drugs, Intro to Psychology
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by merlec16 on Tuesday October 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 151 at Wake Forest University taught by Ashley L. Heffner in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views.


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Date Created: 10/04/16
PSY Drugs Notes p. 296-322 Psychoactive Drugs  Psychoactive drug- any substance with properties that affect mental life or consciousness in some way  Nonmedical use of drugs- (recreational) the use of psychoactive drugs for “recreational” purposes  Ordinary part of most people’s lives  Total abstainers from all mind-altering chemicals are extremely unusual  Just because drug use is pervasive does not mean that it is good for you or that it does not pose dangers  Ecstasy- a psychedelic drug derived from amphetamines  Methamphetamine- Profound destructive effect on dopamine-related brain neurons in nonhuman primates (Parkinson’s disease)  Heroin- a powerful, semisynthetic opioid narcotic derived from morphine o Most socially and morally despised of all drugs “Addiction” Has Many Definitions  Addiction- term frequently used to describe drug dependence o Originally the term included withdrawal, tolerance, and craving as necessary components, but currently, addiction has no precise definition o One of the most destructive consequences of abusive non- medical use of drugs o Referred to dependent and compulsive use of a drug that resulted in three outcomes  Withdrawal- unpleasant physiological (and psychological) symptoms experiences when the body is deprived of a drug to which it has become adapted  Craving- overpowering feelings of “wanting” and depending upon a drug  Tolerance- a progressive need for more and more of a drug to achieve the same effect  Drug abuse- term generally used to indicate any pattern of drug use that causes personal distress of impairment in an important aspect of a person’s life All Substances Are Potentially Toxic  There is no “nontoxic” drug, there is no “safe” drug  Dose level for every substance above which is poses danger  Safety ratio- a statistic expressing the potential toxicity of a drug in terms of the dose one would need to take to cause death o The larger the safety ratio the less toxic the drug  Alcohol accounts for many more emergency room visits that any other single drug  Narcotics- although this term is often used casually to refer to illicit drugs in general, technically it refers only to those derived from opium  Depressants- (hypnotics) drugs that depress the central nervous system (but are not narcotics)  Stimulants- drugs that increase alertness and energy  Psychedelics- dugs that substantially alter one’s perception of reality Narcotics  In reference to opioid drugs  Opium- dried nectar of the common popaver somniferum (poppy) flower containing a number of alkaloids including morphine  Alkaloids- any compound with drug-like effects found naturally in a plant  Morphine- an alkaloid of opium used as a potent pain killer  Opioids- any drug derived from opium  These drugs are among the most useful ever devised as treatments for pain and certain other conditions and surprisingly among the safest as long as they are used properly  Under certain conditions opioid drugs can cause death due to respiratory depression o Sever inhibition of the body’s ability to regulate breathing  Overdose- taking a lethal or nonlethal but toxic dose of a drug  Use of opioids simultaneously with other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol can dramatically increase risk of “overdose” Stimulants  Have effect of produce feelings of exhilaration, alertness, confidence, and mood elevation, although they can also trigger anxiety, restlessness, sleeplessness, and a number of other undesirable effects Cocaine- an alkaloid of the coca plant in concentrated form  Freebase- method of using cocaine where the active ingredient of cocaine is isolated and smoked o Unlike cocaine in powder form freebase is not soluble in water and cannot be snorted or administered through injection  Crack- solid form of cocaine somewhat similar to freebase, “cooked” from cocaine, water, and baking soda or lye  Users generally experience a rush of energy, elevated mood, euphoria, alertness, and feelings of well-being  Users eventually become dependent on the drug Amphetamines- a family of stimulant drugs that exert their effects primarily by increasing levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine in the brain  “Speed,” “crystal meth,” Adderall, Dexedrine  Have long lasting effects and less expensive  Can result in sever fatigue, depression, and other unpleasant symptoms when the drug wears off Caffeine- stimulant alkaloid of coffee, tea, chocolate, and certain other plants  Wards off fatigue, produces alertness, and for some people improves performance on variety of cognitive tasks  The more coffee someone drinks the stronger was the association with longevity Nicotine- alkaloid found in the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, green peppers, and a number of other plants (tobacco)  Slight increase in alertness, and users who are dependent may experience a paradoxical sense of relaxation  Highly addictive  Smoking cigarettes- perhaps the most destructive and dangerous ordinary behavior in which a person may engage  Cigarettes- the most deadly recreational drug available  Smoking is the single most important cause of premature death in the US and numerous other developed nations  Why people smoke- adolescence o Peer influence or peer selection o Habit is self-perpetuating Depressants  Primary medical use is to produce sleep or sleep-like states Alcohol- close second to caffeine  Ethanol- the ingestible form of alcohol containing in alcoholic beverages  Response to drinking alcohol might be tranquility, joviality, sociability, aggression and violence, sexual excess, anger, melancholy, self-pity, tenderness, cheerfulness, relaxation, drowsiness, silliness… etc.  Effects vary greatly depending upon the person using it  Alcohol is a disinhibitor- a substance that reduced a person’s inhibitions to perform various sorts of behavior  Under the influence of alcohol there is a suppression of neural activity in centers of the brain connected to judgement and control  Importance of dose in determining effect  Taken in small doses alcohol produces effects such as relaxation  Alcoholism- regular users of alcohol develop alcohol dependence, at least as difficult to treat as opioid dependence  There is no safe or beneficial way to use cigarettes, alcohol is much less addictive than smoking  Alcohol may have certain beneficial physiological and psychological effects o Lower risk of coronary heart disease  When taken at high doses alcohol is extremely toxic to the body  Binge drinking- the consumption of five drinks for men and four drinks for women in about 2 hours Rohypnol  Rohypnol- “roofies” a highly potent benzodiazepine drug often used to treat sever insomnia  Small doses produce pleasant sensations somewhat similar to an alcohol high, but as the dose increases the experience tends to be described as unpleasant  Withdrawal can be very dangerous GHB  GHB- Gamma-(hydroxybutyrate) a CNS depressant drug initially marked as a food supplement for body builders  Different between a “recreational” dose and a potentially fatal dose is not as great as with most psychoactive drugs The Most Common Date Rape Drug Is Alcohol  All studies show a high presence of alcohol Psychedelics  Psychedelic drugs (hallucinogens) come from a very wide variety of plant and man-made chemical sources and produce their effects in many different ways LSD, Peyote, Mushrooms  LSD- (lysergic acid diethylamide) a powerful psychedelic drug  Peyote- a psychedelic cactus  Psychedelic mushrooms- a general term used for various psychedelic fungi  Alter perception in a dramatic way, strongly effecting one’s sense of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch  May effect radical changes in thought and emotion  Potential for dependence in low / safety ratios high  Fallout from negative experiences can be long lasting Ecstasy (MDMA)  Related to the amphetamine family of drugs  Sense of “openness,” empathy, well-being, energy, and reduced fear  Strong claims about safety and danger of ecstasy  Dangerous levels of 4-MTA in large portion of tablets 1. Ecstasy has not been “proven safe” 2. Ecstasy has not been proven to cause “brain damage” in humans 3. Ecstasy is potentially deadly when taken in excessive doses Marijuana  Marijuana- (cannabis) a mild psychedelic drug derived from the leaves of cannabis sativa, a flowering plant originally indigenous to Asia  Cannabis- cannabis sativa is the plant from which marijuana, hashish, and THC are derived  THC- the active ingredient in cannabis, often taken in pill form  Hashish- a pastry or gummy concentrated form of cannabis, generally stronger in its effects than marijuana  Effects are highly dependent upon the user and its setting  Moderate doses experience a dreamy, carefree relaxation and sense of well-being, distortion in perception of time, a sharpening of all the senses, a tendency to find hilarity in situations the rest of us find utterly humor-free and increased hunger  Stronger doses include disruption of thought or emotion 1. Marijuana use can result in dependence 2. Evidence that cannabis use leads to psychological disturbances and “reduced motivation” or negative impact on education attainment is weak 3. Researchers studying inflammation processes that may underlie the brain degeneration of Alzheimer’s disease have produced evidence that chemical components of cannabis may reduce inflammation, thus reducing memory impairment 4. Marijuana smoke produces at least as many tars hazardous to the lungs as cigarette smoke 5. There is no known fatal dose of cannabis "Legal Highs”  Psychoactive drugs that may be purchased legally because they are not on government lists of controlled substances  Legal authorities have not heard about them of haven’t yet drafted legislation to control them  Government does not recognize “recreation” or “pleasure” as a defensible use for a drug 1. Extract of kratom 2. BZP is a stimulant with effects somewhat similar to amphetamines although weaker 3. The mushroom fly agaric, with hallucinogenic effects somewhat similar to LSD 4. Salvia is a highly potent psychedelic with a history of spiritual purposes 5. “Bath salts” are generally a combination of several drugs, including mephdrone Safety of Legal High  They work unlike previous generations of “legal highs”  There is no legal risk attached to purchasing the drugs  Buyers assume that the drugs must be relatively safe o Legal status of drugs, however, is not usually related to its safety  Should be viewed with even more caution than marijuana or prescription drugs such as opiates because one cannot make an informed decision about using them  One has no idea what they are actually buying  Not legal because they are safe, legal because they are new


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