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Week 1 - Drugs and Behaviour.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Bruce Mc Kay

What Is A Drug? -alters perception, alters behaviour -has to be taken internally Drug – a chemical substance that, when taken into the body, alters the structure of functioning of the body in some way Food is not a drug – drugs do not include nutrients considered to be related to normal functioning Psychoative Drug – drug that influences the functioning of the brain and hence our behaviour and experience DMT drug is produced in brain and found in more plants than not What do we really mean by ‘drug use’ or a ‘drug problem’? -it’s imperative to always collect DATA Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? How much? Licit drugs – drugs whose manufacture, sale or possession is legal (ex. alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, etc; age-requirements may be important) Illicit drugs – drugs whose manufacture, sale or possession is illegal -Depends on who has and why they have it Instrumental Use – a person taking a drug with a specific socially-approved goal in mind Recreational Use – a person is taking the drug for the sole purpose of experiencing it’s psychoactive properties (ex. to get ‘drunk’ or ‘high’) Instrumental Use and Licit Taking valium with a prescription to relieve anxiety Drinking Red bull to stay awake Instrumental Use and Illicit Smoking MJ to relieve anxiety; taking Provigil, Ritalin, etc without a prescription to stay awake while driving Recreational Use and Licit Having an alcoholic drink to facilitate social interactions at a party Smoking salvia to experience a hallucination Recreational Use and Illicit Taking MDMA/Ecstasy to facilitate social interactions at a party Taking LSD to experience a hallucination Crack cocaine is more addictive than powdered Types of Drug Use Deviant drug use – drug use that is not common within a social group and is disapproved of by the majority Drug misuse – use of drugs or chemicals in greater (or lesser) amounts than prescribed by a doctor, or for purposes other than those intended by the manufacture Drug abuse – substance use in a manner, an amount, or in situations such that it causes social, occupational, psychological, or physical problems Drug dependence - a more precise term than addiction -a state in which an individual uses a drug so frequently or consistently that it would be difficult for that person to stop Who is using drugs, how much, and why? Survey questionnaires -door to door -phone survey -classroom surveys Easy to use – inexpensive, efficient Drawbacks -Bias in student population (ex. dropouts not counted) -Potential inaccuracy of self-reports (among both users and non-users) Who is using drugs, how much, and why? Who? -Questions about age, gender, socio-economic status, etc. How much? -In the last 12 months, how often have you smoked a cigarette? A. B. C. D. E. Why? -Correlations with risk factors, protective factors, etc Survey Findings -Of the small amount of those who have tried heroin, many are addicted -Most addictive drug in tobacco … nicotine is in many respects the most addictive drug Survey Findings: Long term trends in drug use (ex. Marijuana) -high school students using mj, use changes quite a bit, 70s a lot of usage, drops down, picks up again in 2000s Supply or demand? -what was happening alongside that drop in usage… Availability? Risk? -when use goes down, people think it is more dangerous -when people start thinking it’s not to bad, usage goes back up Availability is not associated with how people are using. There is a relation between availability and use, but availability is always high because of demand. If people want something there is always supply. There would be a relation if it wasn’t as available but marijuana is easy to grow and there’s the demand for it. Survey Findings: Relationship between onset age and likelihood of adulthood dependence The age that someone first uses drugs is highly associated with how often they use it when they are older. If someone drank for the first time when they were twelve, they will be drinking 3 or 4 times the amount more than others their age when they’re older. If you can stop people from drinking until they are 19, they will drink less when they are older. Survey Findings: relationship between onset age and likelihood of adulthood dependence -if you can keep people from drinking till age of 17 lowers the risk of future problems, if people who are drinking 12/13 will have more problems Survey Findings: Who is using drugs? Ethnic Profiles Which ethnic groups are the biggest drug users? What are the potential confounds in a high school survey Potential Confounder: only kids that are in school are surveyed … however, for the kids that are in school Who has the bigger problem with alcohol, males or females? -overwhelmingly people will say male -actual numbers, very similar between male (82%) & female (76.8%) (minus damage property) -Males are more likely than females to smoke mj, and use illicit drugs Impulsivity – can be correlated with rates of substance use in the general population Survey Findings: Correlates of Drug Use: Risk Factor and Protective Factor Risk Factors: 1. Having friends who use mj or other substances. 2. Engaging in frequent fighting, stealing, or other antisocial activities 3. Perceiving that substance use is prevalent at your school 4. Having a positive attitude toward mj use Protective Factors: 1. Perceiving that there are strong sanctions against substance use at school 2. Having parents as a source of social support 3. Being committed to school and sports 4. Believing that religion is important and frequently attending religious services 5. Participating in two or more extracurricular activities -Risk factors include: -community, parental, and peer attitudes and behaviors -antisocial/problem behaviours -poor school performance -Protective factors include: -involvement in religious activities **most important factor associated with psychoactive drug use -perceived risk of drug use absence of religion seems to move closer towards drug use Textbook: Correlates of Drug Use Risk and Protective Factors -those adolescents who reported that their parents frequently monitored their behaviour (checking homework, limiting TV watching, and requiring chores) were actually a little more likely to report using mj than adolescents who reported less parental monitoring. This finding points out the main problem with a co relational study: We don’t know if excessive parental monitoring makes adolescents more likely to smoke mj, or if adolescents smoking mj and getting in fights makes their parents more likely to monitor them (latter seems more likely. -another example… the kids who are getting low grades anyway who are more likely to be cigarette smokers, and the same conclusion can probably be reached about mj smoking. Risk Factors and Marijuana Use – friends were around Major protective factors for adolescents - If people love you when your growing up your less likely to develop problems -Correlation Coefficient: frequency of drug use and degree to which your parents loved you, should be around .8 Survey Data: it’s only correlational -marijuana smoking is correlated to low grades in high school Possible causes: - smoking mj causes the user to get lower grades - low grades cause high school students to smoke mj - something else causes low grades and marijuana smoking 20year long study -smoking pot decreases IQ, only 5% of population Survey Findings: Antecedents of Drug Use -Antecedents: a factor that occurs before an event such as the initiation of drug use -still not labeled ‘causes’ -examples of antecedents -aggressiveness -conduct problems -poor academic performance -attachment to a drug using peer group -parental and community norms that support drug use Antecedents – interviewing the same individuals at different times and look for characteristics that predict later initiation of drug use. -A few scientists have been able to follow the same group of people at annual intervals for several years in what is known as a longitudinal study. Males who had shown a high ‘readiness’ to learn in grade 1 were less likely to be cocaine users as adults, but females with poor academic performance in grade 1 had lower rates of cocaine use than females with higher scores in grade 1. Males who were either shy or aggressive in grade 1 were more likely to be adult drug users than were the students who had been considered neither shy nor aggressive 26 years later. -It is somewhat surprising that any variable measured at age 6 could reliably predict adult drug use. Gateway Substances Gateway substance is: -a substance that, if used by a younger person, increases the likelihood of other drugs being used when the person is older -a substance that if used by a person of any age, increases the likelihood of the use of other drugs (usually the later use of ‘hard’ drugs) The drug that best predicts subsequent hard drug use, is tobacco If you use marijuana before alcohol you’re more likely not to use those drugs Reinforce
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