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Lecture 1 Notes

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Bruce Mc Kay

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PS 268 Drugs and Behaviour Thursday, January 10, 2013 Bruce McKay N2060 Office hours: Monday 3:30- 4:30 Wednesday 12:30- 1:30 [email protected] ext. 3033 Mary Beth Dunn [email protected] *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 results -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 accuracy 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 happens -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 perception) -data shows completely otherwise: white people use the most, then Hispanic, then Africa
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