Lecture 8 Notes

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16 Dec 2010
Lecture 08
Psychopharmacology of Drug Action, Depressants, Opiates & Hallucinogens
Gava the primary inhibitory amino-acid transmitter
Barbiturates bind together
Lowers brain excitability
Most are synergistic
oWorks in similar mechanisms by adding to each other or cancelling each other out
oSimilar in mechanism of action barbiturates and alcohol (additive)
oMost will prevent the withdrawal effects of the other
oHyper-excitability causes seizures
oWe take advantage of the fact that most drugs are synergistic for alcohol you put them
on valium
Barbiturates are prescribed normally for sleep induction; typically used in elderly individuals.
oCycadian rhythms are disturbed in elderly people
oOlder people generally tend to abuse this type of drug
Whenever someone is on barbiturates they dont get enough REM sleep
oWhile they do induce sleep, it reduces the amount of time in REM sleep (behavioural
Withdrawal When you come off the brain becomes hyper-excitable and change of death
oDeath from seizure during the withdrawal phase
oAlcohol will stop the withdrawal symptoms of barbiturates
Causes more problems than any other drug in society
CNS depressant
Made by yeast digest sugar which excretes sugar
Accounts for the largest number of ambitions in a hospital
oAccounts for 20-40% of all admission
oAccounts for 55% of all arrests
oAccounts for 50-75% of all homicides
o50% of all driver deaths
o20-30% of all suicides the person has been drinking
As a psychologist one might think that getting rid of alcohol will solve the problem of the stats
mentioned above
oExperiment that was done to try and deal with these numbers: United States Prohibition
Went from Jan 1920 to Dec 1933 (then repealed)
During this time all the stats decreased dramatically for a very short term
The downturn did not last long; by 1930 the numbers had gone right back up to
where they were prior to prohibition
Why did it go back up? People were drinking again
People were obtaining it illegal (if you want something you will get it)
As well they had the old problems plus additional problems when something
is made legally the government watches over it to protect us; when not being
made legally it is being made illegally without regulations
The alcohol bought today is called Ethel Alcohol
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