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Lecture 8

PSYB65H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Depressant, Pupillary Response, Acetyl Group

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Ted Petit

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Lecture 8
Pharmacology of drug action, depressants, opiates and hallucinogens
DEPRESSANTS work through GABA primary inhibitory amino acid neurotransmitter in the brain
decrease activity in the brain
o Help people sleep and relax
o Work by binding to GABA receptors in the brain
o Inhibit the brain and decrease excitability in the brain
o It is also synergistic with other sedatives and also anxiolytics and anticonvulsants share the
mechanism to slow things down
Synergistic: if you put them together they are additive; they are not independent
they add to each other (they also multiply) combined effect being greater than parts
Its very dangerous to mix barbiturates and alcohol because they are synergistic
o Sedative puts you to sleep or called hypnotic when you stay awake after taking it
o Anxiolytics take away anxiety; calm down
o Anticonvulsants stop seizures slow down the excitation during the epilepsy
o The biggest group used for were the elderly as you mature, sleep patterns become irregular
because they wake up their REM sleep and they don’t feel very rested
o Withdrawal: when you come off of them you get potential seizures depending on for how long
and how much doses were you taking never taking anyone directly off depressants
potential death you can replace it with other barbiturates or alcohol (help with the
Non barbiturates
o A CNS depressant
o Produced by yeast, digesting sugar and excreting alcohol
o Problems:
Largest admissions to a psychiatric hospital 40% of all patients in a psychiatric
hospital are alcoholics
Accounts for 55% of all arrests
50-75% of all murder, homicides, one of the parties was drunk
50% of all driver’s dead, one of the 2 parties was drunk
20-30% of all suicides, the person was drinking at the time
In the U.S
Jan 1920 to Dec 1933 prohibit the sale of alcohol
Initial drop in all the alcohol related problems
By 1930 all the numbers were right back up where they were before the
prohibition and in addition they had other problems as people were making
a lot of alcohol instead of making ethyl alcohol (people drink), they were
drinking methyl alcohol leads to blindness (wake up the next morning blind
permanently or die for high doses)
o If people really really want a drug, they will find a way to find it and do it.
o Instead of preventing the people from doing it, they started educating
people so they would understand
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