PSY100H1 Study Guide - Substance Abuse, Addiction, Drug Liberalization

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Published on 14 Apr 2013
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Chapter 1- Psychopharmacology in Perspective
January-21-12
8:39 PM
Psychopharmacology is the discipline that attempts to systematically study the effects of drugs
on behaviour, cognitive functioning, and emotions
Drugs that alter behaviour, cognitive functioning, or emotions are called psychoactive or
psychotropic drugs- they are chemicals that induce psychological effects by altering the normal
biochemical reactions that take place in the nervous system
Originally psyche referred to the soul, but not referred to as the mind
Pharmakos originally meant scapegoat- or a person who was sacrificed for another persons maladies
A drugs chemical structure, how much of the drug is taken, how long it has been since the drug
was taken, and how frequently it is taken are important factors in drug experience
3 other things important for drug experience:
o the set ( the psychological makeup and the expectations of the individual taking the drug)
o The setting (the social and physical environment in which the drug is taken)
o The individuals unique biochemical makeup, some of which dependent on genetics
o All these factors help to explain why there is many diffs in terms of ppls responsiveness to
drugs
Drugs should not be viewed as simply bad or good, you need to take into consideration how much of
the drug is taken, what it is taken for, and in what context it is taken in
A historical Overview of Psychopharmacology
o Humans have been using drugs to alter moods and behaviours for thousands of years--> there
as thousands of plants available that contain psychoactive substances
o Early vikings used the mushroom Amanita Muscaria to enhance their ferciousness, gaiety,
exuberance, and berserk behaviour
o Native Americans use the peyote cactus, which contains the hallucinogen mescaline for their
religious ceremonies
o Cannabis (marijhana) was first used more than 4000 years ago, mostly for its medical value
o Opium poppies (which have the narcotics morphine and codeine, were used by the ancient
sumerians in mesopotamia almost 7000 years ago)
o South american indians chewed the cocoa leaf (cocaine) to reduce fatigue, elevate modd, and
reduce hunger
o Tea began in chine, coffee beans introduced to the Arabians in the 13 century
o Witches could have used toad sweat glands which contain the hallucinogenic drug bufotenine,
one of the few psychoactive drugs from animal origin
o Most common psychoactive substance used around world today is alcohol or caffeine
o Even nonhuman animals have been observed to seek out substances with mood-altering
properties: Siegal
This has led Siegal to propose the hypothesis that intoxication is a universal "forth
drive" as natural as the innate drives for hunger, thirst, and sex
Even research with C. elegans and fruit flies show that they have proteins that are the
sites of action of many drugs of abuse
Predecessors to Modern Pharmacotherapies
o During the 1800s a number of psychoactive drugs were isolated or distilled from plants or
developed from nonplant sources
Morphine from opium for treatment of periodic insanity
Bromine and chloral as sedatives or sleep inducers
Gases chloroform and nitrous oxide treatments for insanity
The first phenothiazine (a type of antipsychotic drug used for calming effects on manic
and hallucinators
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o During the 1800s the investigations of the formal relationships between drug variables and
psychological processes, especially those involved in mental illness began
It started with Jacques Moreau du Tours who published the book Hashish and
Mental Illness
After taking a hasish (concentrated form of marijuana) concoction that he made, he
compared the drug induced symptoms with the mental symptoms that occur
spontaneouly in psychoses
He was one of the first to say that the person's particular or immediate context
greatly influenced both the quality and intensity of the drug experience
He also studied the psychoactive effects of opiates, nitrious oxide, and a number of
sedative hypnotic drugs, but his work was large unrecognized until his book was
published
Some view Moreau as the first psychopharmacologist
o The very first book in modern experimental psychopharmacology as the first book devoted to
drugs and animal behaviour was published by A. P. Charvel, a young medical student who
studied the effects of opium on many animals
o Sigmund Freud spent 3 years investigating the effects of cocaine on fatigue, depression
strength, morphine addications and he was the test subject
o Pavlov , best known for conditioning the reflexes, attempted to treat Schizophrenics by
using some of his conditional techniques and inducing long periods of sleep with bromides, but
he was not successful because bromides tend to accumulate in the body and can be toxic
o The Pavlovian process is important in drug dependence
o William James established the first psychology lab in the U.S., he found that consciousness
could be influenced by the laughing gas nitrous oxide, he would have mystic revelations
o The first half of the 20th century was accompanied by the synthesis or clinical use of a
wide variety of new psychoactive substances with potential therapeutic value
Albert Hoffman first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide and he figured out that it
was one of the most potent psychoactive substances known to mankind, it was used later
as a psychedelic (mind-manifesting) to induce a model psychosis
The Psychopharmacological Revolution
o Interest in studying drugs and their influence started around middle of the 20th century with the
discovery of chlorphromazine that could reduce the core symptoms of schizophrenia and
improve their though processes
This discovery showed that certain forms of mental illness could be linked to
abnormalities in the biochem of the brain, rather than due to purely environment
It was this discovery that lead to the discipline known as psychopharmacology
o The story began wit the development of one of the first antihistamines (promethazine)
used to reduce surgical shock and to calm patients before and after surgery and it was used to
treat schzio as a sedative
The development of promethazine lead to the development of a compound with similar
structures and more specific actions (4560 RP- or chlorpromazine) , which had little
antihistamine function but it reduced both para and sympathetic activity, abolished
conditioned reflexes and had other good properties, it could reduce surgical stress
It was then suggested that chloropromazine to be used to treat psychosis
So it can be said that chloropromzine stated the pharamacological revolution in
psychiatry, it allowed new drugs to be developed and old ones to be clinically tested
again
Meprobamate was first anxiolytics used for neuroses
Treatment of depression using MAmineOxidase inhibitor
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o John Cade discovered that lithium had mood stabilizing effects in manic patients, but it took
almost 10 years for the medical community to realize the value of lithium bc it was believed
that lithium would be too toxic
o LSD also important during 1950s, with chloropromazine they made an interesting team:
chloro wuld reduce psychotic symptoms whereas LSd would induce the psychotic
symptoms
In 1950s, many articles published about therapeutic benefits of LSD, and LSD
induced psychosis became the model with which other potential antipsychotic drugs
could be tested, and it became a tool for exploring the etiology (the science of causes or
origins of disease) of schizophrenia
But by the 1960s, its role was reduced bc of the realization that the psychotic state it
could induce did not resemble any endogenous psychosis and LSDs unreliable effects
made it play a small role in the pharama over the next 4 decades
o Since the 1950's psychopharmacologists have made great strides in understanding and
treating every affliction in the human mind and most mental disorders are not view as
having a biochemical basis and can be treated as much, but environmental factors can
still play a role
o With the development of MRI, CAT scans, PET etc., we are able to look at working of living
brains
o But psychotherapeutic drugs do not cure mental disorders or suppress their symptoms in all
ppl, it can do harm in some: leads to ethics, and we need to continue to search for drugs with
greater specificity although we've made progress
Recreational and Social Drug Use
o Many ppl use psychoactive drugs (like caffeine, nicotine and alcohol)--> they are socially
accepted drugs
o The mass media reflect the national culture and have conditioned Americans to accept drug use
as a part of daily life
o Americans and heavy consumers of illicit drugs like cocaine, marijuana, heroin,
methamphetamine, barbiturates
o See Table 1.1 for the percentage of persons aged 12 or older using illicit drugs-->
according to the national surveys, use of recreational and social drugs in the US rose a lot
during the 1960's to around the 1980 and was followed by a cyclical pattern of use over
the next 2 decades
o For as long as humankind has been using drugs, there have been concerns over drug abuse and
attempts to restrict it--> there have been laws/acts passed to restrict use of certain drugs: like in
1920-1933 US passed the prohibition of alcoholic beverages
o Most of these restrictions have failed mostly because it is not clear to the users why they
must stop using the drugs, because they feel that their drug consumption affects only
themselves
o The criteria for what constitutes drug abuse is not universal and is dependent on one's
culture and the time period
o The term drug abuse generally refers to the self-administration of any drug in manner
that deviates from the approved medical or societal patterns within a given culture
A more operational definition of drug abuse would be: the use of any drugs that
causes function or structural damage to the users or to others, or which results in
the users inability to voluntarily control their social or drug-taken behaviour
o Surveys estimate that the national cost of drug abuse in the US is over 500 billion, with
alcohol first, then tobacco, and illicit drugs
o The legislation passed by the US like the 1914 Harrison Narcotic Act have done little to
dampen the desire for drugs (it engaged in a war on drug abuse, with ppl wanting to sell it and
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Document Summary

Psychopharmacology is the discipline that attempts to systematically study the effects of drugs on behaviour, cognitive functioning, and emotions. Drugs that alter behaviour, cognitive functioning, or emotions are called psychoactive or psychotropic drugs- they are chemicals that induce psychological effects by altering the normal biochemical reactions that take place in the nervous system. Originally psyche referred to the soul, but not referred to as the mind. Pharmakos originally meant scapegoat- or a person who was sacrificed for another persons maladies. A drugs chemical structure, how much of the drug is taken, how long it has been since the drug was taken, and how frequently it is taken are important factors in drug experience. Drugs should not be viewed as simply bad or good, you need to take into consideration how much of the drug is taken, what it is taken for, and in what context it is taken in.

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