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Lecture 17

Drugs & Society Lecture 17 Notes (4.2.14)

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SOCL 1295
Lisa Ferruccio

Lecture 17 1/15/14 11:48 AM Defining Addiction: A drug does not have to be addicting in the classical sense of the term- generating physical withdrawal symptoms – to produce a dependence in users. Today addiction refers to dependence. Non-drug addictions: • Shopping • Sex • Social media • Shopping • Food • Gambling • Exercise • Plastic surgery • Cleaning • Technology Physical dependence: state resulting from chronic use of a drug that has produced tolerance and where negative physical symptoms of withdrawal result from discontinuation Psychological dependence: a highly reinforcing drug alters the chemistry of the brain such that the neurons remember having been reinforced, having felt a pleasurable stimulus before; thus, the intense cravings • Cocaine, meth, tobacco, AND heroin, etc. Drugs with the highest potential for causing dependence: • 1) Cocaine, 2) Meth, 3) Heroine • Why? You get pleasure the first time you try them Other drugs trail far behind because you have to learn how to enjoy them (marijuana, alcohol, LSD, nicotine) People vary with respect to their degree of susceptibility to becoming dependent on a chemical substance—variation is much greater than in animals The alcoholism gene? • Alcohol addiction AND high anxiety linked to same gene • Faulty gene? Evidence in mice? Some mice wanted more and more alcohol • BUT… they haven’t translated the mice evidence to studies with humans. Too many psychological and environmental factors Production chain: User Drug Dealers Producers Foreign relations • With illegal drugs, we demonize the whole chain • With alcohol, we only demonize the substance itself and the user Addiction: A Troublesome Concept (Video) Dr. Gabor Mate—Canadian physician, studies addiction • “Genes ar
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