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PS268 - Ch 2 Textbook.docx

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Bruce Mc Kay

PS268 – Chapter 2: Drug Use as a Social Problem  Laissez-Faire: A hands-off approach to government. Toxicity Categories  Three major concerns aroused in the public interest: 1. Toxicity: Some drug sellers were considered to be endangering the public health & victimizing individuals because they were selling dangerous, toxic chemicals, often without labeling them or putting warnings on them. 2. Dependence: Some sellers were seen as victimizing individuals and endangering their health by selling them habit-forming drugs. 3. Crime: Drug user came to be seen as a threat to the public safety.  Toxic: Poisonous, deadly or dangerous – drugs = toxic if misused.  Behavioural Toxicity: Toxicity resulting from behavioural effects of a drug.  Acute – Referring to drugs, the short-term effects of a single dose. (Sharp)  Chronic – Referring to drugs, the long-term effects of a single dose. (Long) DAWN: Drug Abuse Warning Network  US government set up in order to monitor the toxicity of other drugs than alcohol – collects data on drug-related emergency room visits from hospital emergency departments in major metropolitan areas around the country.  When an individual goes to the emergency room they record the drug misuse or abuse in order to determine the # of visits associated with the drugs.  Also collects data on drug-related deaths; alcohol associations are only accounted for when it is mixed with a drug to cause the problem.  How Dangerous? Alcohol accounts for 100,000 US deaths a year while cigarettes account for 40,000 deaths. MJ is 8x more common than cocaine.  Blood Bourne Disease: Concern for users who inject and share needles can result in: HIV, AIDS, liver infections, and hepatitis B and C Substance Dependence: What is it?  Frequent users typically exhibit 3 characteristics of their substance use: 1. Tolerance: Refers to the phenomenon seen with many drugs in which repeated exposure to the same dose of the drug results in a lesser effect. 2. Physical Dependence: Defined by the occurrence of a withdrawal syndrome: consistent set of symptoms that appears after discontinuing use of a drug. a. Physical Dependence: Drug dependence defined by the presence of a withdrawal syndrome, implying that the body has become adapted to the drug’s presence. 3. Psychological Dependence: Defined in terms of observable behaviour – indicated by frequency of using a drug or by the amount of time or effort an individual spends in drug-seeking behaviour. a. Reinforcement: Procedure in which a behavioural event is followed by a consequent event such that the behaviour is more likely to be repeated. The behaviour is taking a drug m
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