BIOL 1010 Lecture Notes - Nutmeg, Vasoconstriction, Psilocybin

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30 Jan 2013
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Synthetic Sedatives
Barbiturates is another major type of sedatives (made for sleeping and relaxation)
Today, Benzodiazepines (Valium) are more commonly abused
Sedatives relax the muscles, reduce anxiety and in small doses produce a mildly
euphoric state
Like alcohol, they are thought to produce effects from stimulating the GABA system
With excessive doses, speech becomes slurred and gait unsteady; concentration,
ability to work, lose of emotional control and irritability
Very large doses can be fatal because the diaphragm muscles relax to such an extent
the t the individual suffocates
Frequently used as a means of suicide (with alcohol)
Types of abusers
o 1st group fits the stereotype of the illicit drug abuser: adolescents and young
adults, usually male and often antisocial, who use synthetic sedatives to alter
their moods and consciousness, sometimes mixing them with other drugs
o 2nd group is middle aged, middle class individuals who begin their use of
sedatives under a physician’s order then use it as an addictive
o 3rd group comprises health professionals physicians and nurses
Stimulants
Stimulants or uppers (like cocaine) act on the brain and the sympathetic neurons
system to increase alertness and motor activity
Cocaine is a natural stimulant extracted from the coca leaf
Amphetamines are synthetic stimulants
Amphetamines
Before a plant, mahuang, was used by the Chinese to treat asthma
But relying on the shrub for the drug was not efficient, and so efforts to develop a
synthetic substitute began Amphetamines resulted from these efforts
Benzedrine was the first amphetamine its was used first to relieve stuff noses, the
public also discovered its stimulating effects then it was also used for mild
depression and appetite
These produce their effects by causing the release of norepinephrine and dopamine
and blocking the reuptake of these NTs (taken orally or intravenously and can be
addicting)
Wakefulness is heightened, intestinal functions are inhibited, and appetite is reduced
(their use in dieting), heart rate quickens, and blood vessels in the skin and mucous
membranes constrict
Individual becomes alert, euphoric and outgoing and is possessed with a lot of
energy and self confidence
Larger doses make people nervous and confused, subjecting them to palpitations,
headaches, dizziness and sleeplessness
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