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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 notes.


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB65H3
Professor
Ted Petit
Lecture
7

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Lecture 07
Mechanisms of Drug Action, Psychopharmacology of Neural Stimulants
Individuals who use drugs for themselves for fun (self-induced drugs)
Addiction is a huge problem in North America, hence important to be aware of the drugs
Global Overview of Types of Drugs:
Prescription drugs
oThe laws regarding prescriptions vary by country, decade, etc. (Legalities vary between
countries)
Over the counter drugs
Social drugs (nicotine, caffeine, alcohol). Not from a drug store or prescribed.
Drugs that are not produced commercially (marijuana) or produced commercially but not for
psychoactive effects (such as airplane glue)
Tolerance, Addiction & Withdrawal
ToleranceMost drugs if taken repeatedly results in a decreasing behavioural affect
oWhy? Stimulates the post-synaptic neuron. The more the receptors are bombarded, the
more it responds by reducing the number or sensitivity of post-synaptic receptors
oOnce this occurs, it will not fire as often
oThus you have developed tolerance to the drug (though never a permanent thing)
oNo longer relaxing the brain as much
oThe brain responds to certain drugs more rapidly than others
oA depressor results in extra receptors being developed on the post-synaptic cell
WithdrawalWithdrawal effects can be very severe
oNow that the post-synaptic cell has less receptors, its not going to be activated as easily if
you get off the drugs
oNow instead of being hyper when they were on it, they will become depressed
oThe effects of withdrawal are exactly the opposite of the effects of the drug (for
stimulants the brain is under-stimulated when they go off the drugs)
oFor depressants: the excess receptors results in over-stimulation of the brain
oWithdrawal from coming off a STIMULANT is not life-threatening (might just
experience withdrawal for a few days)
oIt is associated with lower receptors or extra receptors of the synapse cell
oComing off a depressant can cause seizures and may cause death
Addiction – Person who has been exposed to a drug wants to have it again
oBehavioural or physical dependence on the drug
oCan be psychological addiction behavioural dependence on the drug
oPhysical addiction means there is some physical withdrawal symptom (increase in
body temperature, depression, increase in sleep, food consumption, etc.)
oAs a general rule, the more rapid the effect of the drug the more addicting it will be
Cocaine
Grown in Columbia, harvested and then people will make a tea out of it
Gives a slight increase in activity level
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