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Wilfrid Laurier University
Bruce Mc Kay

Psychology Drugs and Behaviour Lecture One What is a drug? • Alcohol, Cannabis, Cocaine, Amphetamine, MDMA, Meth • Foreign substance, that your body doesn’t make on its own o Your body makes DMT, it’s a drug • Has to modify on going physiology, brain activity etc Drug: A chemical substance that, when taken into the body, alters the structure or functioning of the body in some way Food is not a drug: Drugs do not include nutrients considered to be related to normal functioning Psychoactive Drug: A drug that influences the functioning of the brain and hence our behaviour and experience - Actual drug itself matters, not who’s doing drugs - When matters, where matters - Why is a paramount thing, someone who is drinking just because they want to have a good time with friends, different from depressed, self medicating for problems - How are they inserting the drugs, addiction potential - Types of Drug: Licit vs. Illicit Licit: Drugs, whore manufacture, sale or possession is legal (alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, etc Illicit: Drugs whose manufacture, sale or possession, is illegal (heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana, mdma, Lsd, ghb, etc) Type of Drug Use: - Instrumental Use o A person is taking a drug with a specific, socially approved goal in mind - Recreational use o A person is taking the drug for the sole purpose of experiencing its psychoactive properties, drunk, high - Deviant drug use o Drug use that is not common within a social group and is disapproved of by the majority - Drug misuse o Use of drugs or chemicals in greater (or lesser) amounts than prescribed by a doctor, or for purposes other than, those intended by the manufacturer - Drug Abuse o Substance use in a manner, an amount, or in situations such that it causes social, occupational, psychological, or physical problems - Drug Dependence o A less loaded term than addiction o A state in which a individual uses a drug so frequently or consistently that it would be difficult for the person to start o Use it for long enough periods of time you body adapts to it, body goes through withdrawal Who is using drugs, how much, and why? - Surveys o Biggest amount of data in the shortest amount of time Risk Factors: - Community, parental, and peer attitudes and behaviour - Antisocial/problem behaviour - Poor school performance - Early-life stressors (self medicate) (eg, rat parks) - Acute (current) stressors (self medicate) - Mental illnesses (self medicate) - Boredom - Curiosity - Desire to have fun Protective Factors include: - Involvement in religious activities - Perceived risk of drug use Antecedents: Gateway Substances? - A gateway substance is: o A substance that, if used by a younger person, increases the likelihood of other drugs being used when the person is older o 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) o Nicotine is the gateway drug, higher than marijuana Changing attitudes towards drugs results in changes in the law - Early government approach (1800’s) o Laissez-faire - Subsequent approach (1900s and onwards) o Control What lead to this change? Effects of drug use to society - Deaths - Emergency room visits -
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