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PS268 Lecture Notes - Drug Withdrawal, Adderall, Methylphenidate

Course Code
Bruce Mc Kay

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PS 268 Drugs and Behaviour
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Bruce McKay
Office hours:
Monday 3:30- 4:30
Wednesday 12:30- 1:30
ext. 3033
Mary Beth Dunn
*Don’t have to memorize any statistics- just remember the context
Chapter 1
Overview of Drug Use
Drug- a foreign substance (something that your body doesn’t make on your own) that when
taken into the body modifies some aspect of body chemistry
-psychoactive drugs modify chemistry in the brain to cause a change in perception
-drugs taken as food still count as drugs (eg. Weed brownies or “hash on bacon”)
-in this course we are interested in psychoactive drugs
-when talking about drug use, things must be taken in context- who, what, where, when, why,
how, and how much should be considered
-huge difference between drinking socially and drinking to solve problems (“quench the
suckiness of my life”)
-huge difference in long term outcome
-using drugs to cope with problems almost always leads to more problems
-licit (legal) vs illicit (illegal) drugs
-some can be in both categories depending on use (ex. Ritalin and Adderall)
-Adderall is now a class 1 drug and dealing can land you in jail
-types of drug use
-instrumental use- goal in mind (not to get high)- something society thinks is a good idea
-ex. taking drugs to reduce anxiety or depression
-recreational use- to get “high”
-some drugs can satisfy multiple purposes- just depends on the usage
-deviant drug use- drug use that very few people actually approve of (ex. Heroin, crack)
-addiction potential is very high
-drug misuse- perfectly legitimately applied drug that is used for a purpose other than intended
-(example: Oxycontin and Ritalin)
-drug abuse- not addicted but keep using in harmful ways (recurrent) (if you stopped using it,
you wouldn’t go through withdrawal symptoms)
-drug dependence- body has adapted to the presence of the drug
-withdrawal symptoms are intense
Who is using drugs, how much and why?
-how is it we actually figure this out?
-what circumstances are involved?
-figure it out by asking people
-surveys- paints a picture of what society is doing
-may be subjected to bias/inaccuracy
-door to door surveys- face to face can be very ineffective and yield extremely poor
-phone surveys- also “sketchy”
-anonymous surveys- best method of data collection in this field of study
-most stats in textbooks are from phone surveys- derived under conditions that do not lead to
Survey findings
-tobacco more addictive than heroin
-1 in 12 adults are considered alcoholics
-marijuana usage was extremely high in the late 70s
-changes in law, changes in taxes can affect how much people are using
-war on drugs is very expensive
-availability does not dictate usage however the dumbass government thinks it is
-as risk goes up, use goes down
-as the government spends more money on attempting to decrease availability, nothing
-the earlier people start using a drug- the more likely it is that they will become dependent on
the substance (ex. Alcohol and tobacco)
-50% of people who start drinking when they are 12 become alcoholics
-if you can delay age of first initiation you can change the rates significantly
-drug intervention program can be very beneficial at younger ages
-ethnic profiles- in south states, due to racism it is believed African descent apparently use the
most drugs, then Hispanic, then white people (not backed up by data)(supremist white
-data shows completely otherwise: white people use the most, then Hispanic, then
-joke that if you need a drug that you can’t get in the lab- go to the richest white school
-alcohol related problems- men and women rates are significantly similar
-men have slightly higher percentages
-men tend to break more things
-boys and girls tend to be pretty similar in concern with the harms that alcohol can
cause people
-risk factors that increase likelihood of using drugs
-drug environments change attitudes- rationalize use
-many users have terrible childhood experiences- not a fundamentally bad person
-fills a gap that is missing due to many factors
-heroin can make you feel that someone loves you
-people that become addicted usually have had lives lacking many things
-people with adult undiagnosed ADHD that are using typically use cocaine more than
other drugs (stimulant properties)
-many, many reasons to use drugs
-possibly one of the biggest reasons people do not do drugs is religion
-gateway drug- a drug that if someone uses it first it predisposes their chance of using harder
-we’ve all heard its marijuana- its wrong
-tobacco is actually the gateway drug
-marijuana has half the likelihood than alcohol and tobacco
-nicotine work the level of the genome to change how reward systems are processed
-more powerful than any other drug
Chapter 2
Drugs, Society and the Law
-changing attitudes towards drugs results in changes in the laws
-99% of history was law free on drugs
-30,000 years of “shrooming”
-(1800s) no regulations on drugs
-could order heroin and cocaine from Sears
-1900s and onwards- control
-changed overnight and changed massively
-what caused this shift?
-being able to chemically synthesize stronger versions of these chemicals
-German chemists
-pharmaceutical companies
-effects of drug use today
-large amount of money going towards hospital visits, criminal behavior… paid by the
-what is drug toxicity?
-physiological toxicity- the drug has the capacity to kill you directly just by the effects
that the drug has (stops breathing or heart)
-behavioural toxicity- what the person was “up to” while intoxicated
*-tend to use intoxicated to described any altered state in this course
-acute toxicity
-amphetamines can cause the heart to stop
-alcohol, opiates, barbituates, benzos + alcohol can cause breathing to stop
-some drugs cannot stop your breathing or your heart
-no one has died from the physiological effects of marijuana