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PSYB65H3 (519)
Ted Petit (310)
Lecture 7

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Ted Petit

PSYB65- Lecture 7  Drugs are classified differently- prescription drugs are those that you have to have a prescription from your doctor to get, over the counter drugs are the ones that are available from a pharmacy without a prescription, social drugs are that you do not have to get from a pharmacy, such as alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine, the last group of drugs are not produced commercially or if they are produced commercially it is not for their psychoactive effect such as marijuana, cocaine, LSD;  Tolerance, with most drugs, as you take them repeatedly, you get a decreasing or reduced behavioural effect; the more you take a drug, the brain compensates by somehow changing either the sensitivity or the number of receptors that are effected; when a stimulant such as amphetamine or cocaine are taken and there is an overstimulation of the presynaptic neuron, the brain responds by reducing the sensitivity or the number of receptors; there is no drug that can stop neuroplasticity (to overcome tolerance); in a depressant (slows down activity in the presynaptic neuron), it activates more receptors in the postsynaptic neuron, bringing the activity back to a normal level  Withdrawal- when a patient who has already built up tolerance, stops taking the drug, patient’s behavioural/physiological output changes; now at normal levels activation there are not enough receptors to continue at normal activation (becomes under activated causing depressive symptoms if one was taking stimulants); when someone is coming off of depressants and going through withdrawal, the presynaptic neuron goes back up to normal levels of activation, all of the remaining extra receptors will be hyper activated (causing overstimulation); if you take someone off of a depressant, you run the risk of the patient getting seizures (must be replaced with another depressant) and is life threatening as opposed to someone getting of a stimulant which is not; behavioural effect of withdrawal is the opposite of the behavioural effects of the drug itself; person still has a psychological effect of craving the drug itself  Essentially, there are two types of addiction- psychological addiction and physical addiction; psychological addiction refers to some sort of behavioural addiction on the drug (doesn’t have to be a drug, difficult to define, and even more so to measure); physical addiction means that on withdrawal, there are some physiologically measurable symptoms (changes in the dilation of the pupils, blood pressure, perspiration); addiction (addictive qualities) depends upon the form of the drug more than the drug itself; typically it has to do with the speed with which that form of the drug works; the same drug taken in a more rapid form is more addictive than the same drug in a slower form (also depending on concentration)  Stimulants- cause the EEG to move to an increased activated state  Caffeine is found in coffee and tea, it inhibits sleep; can get a tolerance to caffeine, but not very much; thus, you can also get withdrawal; caffeine also stimulates the digestive system; withdrawal symptoms include headaches, constipation; toxicity- not very toxic; estimate that it would 70-100 cups of coffee to kill you; mechanism of action of caffeine- inhibit the breakdown
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