Lecture 30 The Pharmacology of Reward and Drug Misuse

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23 Apr 2012
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Lecture 30 The Pharmacology of Reward and Drug Misuse
Importance of Reward
Regulates, controls behavior by inducing pleasurable effects
Reward = reinforces behavior, increases intensity
Mesolimbic dopamine system
Problematic drug use
Maladaptive pattern of use impairment/distress
Associated with non-medicinal use
Opposite of “responsible” drug use
Not dependency
Both licit, illict (legal, illegal)
Spectrum of Psychoactive Substance Use
A. Beneficial
Positive health, spiritual, social impact
B. Casual/Non-problematic
Recreational, casual, with negligible health/social effects
C. Problematic
Negative consequences
D. Chronic Dependence
Habitual despite negative health/social effects
How Problematic Drug use happens
Drug prescribed initially as therapeutic agent
Exposure in recreational settings
Drug addiction
Chronic relapsing disorder: persistent drug-seeking, drug taking behavior
Cycle of craving/relapse
Route of administration, physiological effects of drug play role in addiction
Associated with activation of reward pathway in brain – euphoria
Substance Abuse: Theories, Hypotheses
Activation of brain reward system
oMaladaptive learning: Long-term potentiation, long-term depression
Physical dependence
Genetic
Behavioral/environmental cues (associations)
Dopamine-reward, Addiction Theory
Mesolimbic system scans for reward situation
Addictive drug increases dopamine, inappropriately reinforcement
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