PSYA02 March 27, 2013
John Belushi – comedian and drug user (cocaine/heroin mix = snowballs). He ended up
overdosing on a dose that was actually far smaller than his normal dose. So how did
Context was different – place, people, time.
The brain is used to getting the drug at a certain routine so it prepares itself. It
will stop producing the neurotransmitters that the drugs would boost.
o When Belushi overdosed, the brain had not prepped itself for the drug
In hospitals, morphine is given to people that are terminal to help with pain. Eventually,
patients may reach the level called LD50 – a stage where the person has a 50% chance
of dying of an overdose on the morphine.
Hospitals have realized that the brain does rely on context so they will move
patients around, administer the drugs at a different time of day, so that the brain
doesn’t begin to anticipate the drug and become used to it.
These therapies assume that some (all?) disorders are ultimately caused by abnormal
neural or other physiological functions
Electro-convulsive shock therapy
The Complex and Dynamic Brain
Drugs do work in the short term. And yes, for some cases, they are the best hope to
help with treatment of certain mental disorders.
Schizophrenia – the ‘voices’ will not be ‘talked’
out or follow cognitive therapy
Depression – drugs may be used to help people
get to the point where they can be helped with
talk or cog therapy
However, tolerance does build up. Eventually, dosages
must become larger in larger in order to have the same
effects. PSYA02 March 27, 2013
Yes, the drug does eventually end up in the region that
it is meant to be in. However, it does also end up in
other places all over the brain. This means that there
are now elevated levels of serotonin all over the brain.
What drug companies are trying to do now is
make targeted drugs, where the drugs will end up only
in the section that it is meant to be in.
It is having drugs in unwanted areas of the brain
that leads to unwanted/dangerous side effects.
Chlorpromazine (Largactil/Thorazine) dramatically reduces the positive symptoms of
Apparently works by blocking dopamine receptors
o May interfere with the ability to feel ha