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Lecture 12

PSY 1101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Neuropeptide Y, Lung Cancer, Peer Pressure

Course Code
PSY 1101
Najwa Haddad

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Lecture 12
Drugs and Consciousness
A. Introduction
!Psychoactive drugs
o!Drugs that influence and affect the functioning of the brain
and the rest of the nervous system.
o!Prescribed drugs by doctor
o!Anti-depressants, coffee
o!Cigarettes, heroine, cocaine
o!Talking about a disease of the brain
o!Person feels compelled to seek a drug implicit of the negative
consequences associated with it.
o!Acquired disease by using and abusing drugs.
o!People who are addicted to drugs need tough love and
o!When we develop tolerance to a drug, we need more to
activate the same effect.
!!Basically, brain actively and physically changes itself
when you take more and more of a drug.
!!Different brain before and after a drug.
o!Other parts that change
!!Other parts will change to deal with th drugs.
!!E.g. Alcohol
"!Their liver is much more efficient at breaking
down alcohol.
o!Taking a drug for a while and stopping it.
o!Unpleasant sensations.
!!Can range from pain to death
o!Brain and body change themselves to meet the demands of
the drug.
!!When you stop taking the drug, you go into withdrawal

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!!This happens because of physical and psychological
"!Physical – you need to otherwise body can’t
"!Psychological – emotional and mental attachment
to the drug (desire)
o!What we believe and expect about the drug will make a
o!Expectations and beliefs will affect drug outcomes.
o!Drugs produce their effect at the level of synapses.
o!Reward pathways
!!Engage pleasure pathways
o!There’s a heaven to HELL in every drug.
B. Depressants
o!Drugs that depress the activity of nervous system and the
o!Everything slows down including breathing.
B.1 Alcohol
!Low dozes vs. large dozes
!Alcohol is a depressant, doesn’t matter low or high dozes.
!It depresses frontal lobe and control impulses and inhibitions.
!Affects of high and low doses of alcohol
o!Breathing issues
o!Other effects
!!Affects memory
!!Reduces self-awareness
o!Shrinks brain
!!Frontal lobes
!!And other areas

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o!FAS (Fetal alcohol syndrome)
!!If a pregnant woman drinks, her child may be born with
!!Evokes desire
!!But reduces performance
o!Organ damage
!!Liver, heart, stomach, etc are all affected.
!!Alcohol affects a number of neurotransmitters.
!!Every drug – heaven in the beginning.
!!Alcohol is a
"!GABA (antagonist)
"!Glutamate (antagonist)
"!Dopamine and endorphin (agonist)
!!Cortex, cerebellum and brain stem are all affected
by alcohol.
o!Adolescent brain and early 20s – 25
!!are much more vulnerable and damaged by alcohol
!!it is more intense and damaging to them
!!Shows down brain power
!!Cognitive ability is reduced
!!Recent studies show that 8 drinks a month shows
reduction in cognitive ability.
B.2 Barbiturates and Tranquilizers (B&T)
o!Powerful downer
o!Depresses brain’s centers of arousal
o!Also depresses breathing center
o!At low doses
!!Euphoria, relaxation, reduced anxiety
o!Larger doses
!!Mental functioning and judgment impaired
o!Higher doses can lead to losing power, consciousness, comma
and death.
o!They produce their affect at GABA agonists.
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