Chapter 14 - The Use and Abuse of Psychoactive Drugs.docx

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Published on 19 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Health Sciences
Course
Health Sciences 1001A/B
Professor
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Chapter 14: The Use and Abuse of Psychoactive Drugs
Substance Use, Abuse, and Dependence:
- “Psychoactive” a blanket term to include drugs and other substances
- Drugs = “chemicals other than food that are intended to affect the structure or function of
the body”
Drugs Include:
- Prescription medicine (anti-depressants)
- Over-the-counter substances (alcohol, tobacco, caffeine)
- Illegal substances (LSD, heroin)
American Psychiatric Association (APA) differentiates between substance abuse and substance
dependence:
Substance Abuse: involves ONE of the following:
- Recurrent use resulting in a failure to fulfill major responsibilities at work, school or
home
- Recurrent use in situations in which it is physically hazardous
- Recurrent substance-related legal problems
- Continued substance use despite persistent social or interpersonal problems caused by or
exacerbated by the effects of the drug
Substance Dependence: involves THREE or more of the following during a 12-month period:
1. Developing tolerance to the substance
2. Experiencing withdrawal
3. Taking the substance in larger amounts or
over a longer period than was originally
intended
4. Expressing a persistent desire to cut down
on or regulate substance use
5. Spending a great deal of time obtaining
the substance, using the substance, or
recovering from its effects
6. Giving up or decreasing important school,
work, or recreational activities because of
substance use
7. Continuing the use of the substance in
spite of recognizing that it is contributing
to a psychological or physical problem
Who uses (and abuses) Drugs?
Characteristics that place people at a higher than average risk for trying illegal drugs:
- Being male
- Being young
- Having frequent ...
- Being a troubled adolescent
- Being a thrill seeker
- Dysfunctional family
- Being involved with a peer group that abuses drugs
- Being poor
- Dating young (young girl + older boy)
Less common among:
- Attend school regularly
- Positive self-esteem / self-concept
- Optimism
- Assertive
- Get good grades
- Have strong personal identities
- Are religious
- Have a good relationship with their parents
- Are independent thinkers
- Come from families that have a clear policy on drug use and deal with conflicts
constructively
Treatment for Substance Abuse:
- No single best method
- Relapse rate is high for all types of treatment
- Professional (treatment centres) and nonprofessional (self-help groups) treatments
available
- Programs must deal with reasons behind drug abuse and help develop behaviours,
attitudes, and social support system
- Young people with drug problems are often unable to seek help on their own
Some Myths about Addiction:
1. Individuals need to hit rock bottom before getting help
2. Individuals have to want to be treated to get better (treatment outcomes of people who
are forced into treatment and people who willingly attend treatment are identical)
3. Addiction is a willpower problem
4. Addicts cannot be treated with medication
5. Addiction is treated behaviourally, so it must be a behavioural problem
6. People addicted to one drug are addicted to are addicted to all drugs
Adderall:
- A brand of amphetamine / dextroamphetamine, a stimulant generally prescribed to treat
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- 2005 study 3rd most accessible drug on U.S. campuses (after alcohol and pot)
- 2009 study of > 3,400 undergrads 5.4% had used ADHD medication recreationally in
the last 6 months
- Works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters associated with
focus and attention
Risks:
- Common drawback = loss of creativity, focus on other tasks
- 2005 study recreational users have a GPA of 3.0 or lower
- Ethical considerations mental steroids?
- Legal risks associated with sharing and buying prescription drugs (Schedule 1, highly
controlled)
Health Risks:
- Taking without prescription / medical supervision is very dangerous
- Increase of cardiovascular problems
- Side effects shakiness, decreased appetite
- Easy to become addicted
- Amount for overdose varies considerably

Document Summary

Chapter 14: the use and abuse of psychoactive drugs. Psychoactive a blanket term to include drugs and other substances. Drugs = chemicals other than food that are intended to affect the structure or function of the body . American psychiatric association (apa) differentiates between substance abuse and substance dependence: Recurrent use resulting in a failure to fulfill major responsibilities at work, school or home. Recurrent use in situations in which it is physically hazardous. Continued substance use despite persistent social or interpersonal problems caused by or exacerbated by the effects of the drug. Characteristics that place people at a higher than average risk for trying illegal drugs: Being involved with a peer group that abuses drugs. Dating young (young girl + older boy) Have a good relationship with their parents. Come from families that have a clear policy on drug use and deal with conflicts constructively. Relapse rate is high for all types of treatment.