PCL201H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 31: Caffeine, Reuptake, Dopamine Receptor

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14 Sep 2016
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PCL201
Winter 2014
Lecture 31 Reward and Pharmacology of Drug Misuse
1. Some Important Terms
2. Theories of Addiction and Misuse
a. Dopamine Theory of Reward
b. Physical Dependence and Tolerance
3. Substances Commonly Misused
a. Nicotine
b. Opiates
c. Cocaine
Rate of drug-related deaths are increasing
1. Some Important Terms
Reward system regulates behaviour
Natural rewards: sex, sugar, beer, fighting
Mesolimbic dopamine system
Problematic substance use: maladaptive pattern of use leading to impairment or distress
o non-medical use
o not “dependency”
Spectrum of psychoactive substance use: beneficial casual/non-problematic problematic
chronic dependence
Some drugs are initially prescribed as a therapeutic, but later misused (opioids, narcotics)
Others are exposed to in a recreational setting
Addiction: chronic relapse disorder in drug-seeking behaviours
o Physical and psychological dependence
o Physical and social harm
o Craving/relapse cycle
o Fasting onset drugs have a faster reinforcing effect
o All activate the reward pathway
2. Theories of Addiction and Misuse
Hypotheses
1. Brain Reward System
Maladaptive learning (LTP and LTD)
2. Physical Dependence
Tolerance and withdrawal
3. Genetics
Polymorphisms in the dopamine receptor
4. Behavioral and Environmental Cues
a. Dopamine Theory of Reward
o Area within your brain (mesolimbic area) continuously scans for reward
o Addictive drugs increase DA inappropriately
o VTA nucleus accumbens prefrontal cortex
o DA is a signalling molecule in motor control, compulsivity, reward, euphoria
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