Mechanisms of drug action, psychopharmacology of neural stimulants.
GENERAL INFO terms related to EVERY drug
HOW DRUGS ARE CLASSIFIED?
o PRESCRIPTION DRUG
You NEED a prescription
o OVER THE COUNTER DRUGS
You get it from a pharmacy but you DON’T NEED a prescription
o SOCIAL DRUGS
Nicotine, caffeine, alcohol
You can get them
You don’t have to go to a drug store
o Drugs which are not produced for their psychoactive effect
You cant just go to ANYONE and buy them
Then there are drugs that are produced and you can buy them
o The concept that f a drug is taken repeatedly, most drugs show a decreasing
o The more you take it, the less effect it has.
o The more you stimulate/ alter a system, the post synaptic side of the system will
compensate by reducing either the number or sensitivity of the receptors until it
reaches a level of equilibrium
o If you use something that slows a system down like depressants, the system will
compensate by increasing the sensitivity.
o If you have been taking the drug for A LONG PERIOD OF TIME and stop taking it
You have a craving for the drug
o The behavioural effect:
Opposite of the behavioural effect when the person is on the drug
It’s going to understimulate the postsynaptic cell from being happy to sad
Its not going to back to base line but beneath the baseline and then finally go
back to baseline.
For depressants: the activity increases from sad to happy
It’s going to go up above the baseline and then come back down to baseline.
o Generally not life threatening.
o Sometimes can be life threatening for alcoholics never take them off it
directly substitute valium gradually lower it
o Person enjoys and becomes dependent upon the drug
o The more rapid the effect of the drug, the more addicting it is general rule
o In mild forms it is not addictive its slow and goes through the system slowly; there is no rush
o But if the exact same chemical is taken in a more powerful and rapid effect can
o PSYCHOLOGICAL ADDICTION
Has become behaviorally dependent on the drug very much attached and
its hard for them to give it up
No physical changes
o PHYSICAL ADDICTION
On withdrawal, there has to be some physical withdrawal symptoms
something you can measure numerical data
By definition have to activate the central nervous system
Depressants will depress the activity
All the stimulants cause the EEG to switch to an arousal state and inhibit sleep
Found in coffee and tea; tea has less than coffee
Speeds up digestive process, relieves headache
Some tolerance, very low
You have to be a 6-8 cups of coffee a day for a long period of time to have these withdrawal
Not very toxic