PS268 – Chapter 1: Drug Use – An Overview
Four Principles of Psychoactive Drugs
Those compounds that alter consciousness and affect mood (thoughts, emotion)
1. Drugs per se are not good or bad; it is the manner in which is it used/abused.
2. Every drug has multiple effects – all act on multiple parts of the brain.
3. Both the size & quality of a drugs effect depend on the amount the individual
has taken; increasing dose = increased effects.
4. The effect of any psychoactive drugs depends on the individual’s history and
Drug: Any substance, natural or artificial, that by chemical nature alters
structure of function in the living organism (except for food)
Illicit Drug: A drug that is unlawful to process or use. (Illegal)
Deviant Drug Use: Not common within a social group & is disapproved by the
majority, causing group members to take corrective action when it occurs.
Drug Misuse: Use of prescribed drugs in greater amounts than or for
purposed other than those prescribed by a physician or doctor.
Abuse: Use of a substance in a manner or situation that causes problems.
Addiction: controversial and complex form that has different meanings for
different people because it is so widely used.
Drug Dependence: State in which the individual uses the drug so frequently
and consistently that it appears it would be difficult to get along without it.
Drugs and Drug Use Today
Past 100 years: vaccines, antibiotics, government efforts to limit drug use.
Extent hard to determine the extent due to bias and participation as well
as the assumption that most self-reports are done untruthfully.
Trends Illicit drug use has declined over the last 11 years, MJ use is half as
much as it was in 1978 due to: the “risk” factors associated with it. Cocaine is
in second place, alcohol in first. (all peaked in 1980, decreased in 1990s)
Correlated of Drug Use
Questionnaires – researchers send their computers “prospecting” through
the data to see if personal characteristics can be correlated with dru