PSYC 235 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Insomnia, Barbiturate, Sedative

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7 Apr 2015
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PSYC235- Ch. 11 Substance-Related Disorders
Depressants
- decrease central nervous system activity
- decrease levels of physiological arousal and help us relax
- highly likely to produce dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal
- alcohol, insomnia, and sedative drugs
Alcohol Use Disorders
Clinical Description
- depresses inhibitory centers in the brain
- with continued drinking, inhibits larger areas in the brain that impede ability to
function properly (slurred speech, staggering, etc.)
Effects
- Esophagus  stomach (small amount absorbed)  small intestine (absorbed into
blood stream)  circulatory system carries blood all through body and organs 
liver metabolizes alcohol into carbon dioxide and water
- Interferes with GABA system (GABA = inhibitory neurotransmitter). By making
us less inhibited, we become less anxious, more social, etc.
oAlcohol makes it difficult for neurons to communicate with one another
- other systems alcohol effects: dopamine, serotonin, glutamate, and can result in
release of nature analgesics (leading to pain-numbing effects)
- withdrawal symptoms: vomiting, anxiety, hallucinations, insomnia, agitation
owithdrawal delirium: frightening hallucinations and body tremors
- organic damage possible, but how much alcohol it takes is based on genetics
- 2 types of organic brain syndromes may occur from long-term alcoholism:
oDementia: generial loss of intellectual abilities
oWernicke-Korsakoff: confusion loss of muscle coordination, and
unintelligible speech. Caused by a deficiency in Thiamine
-Fetal alcohol syndrome fetal growth retardation, coginitive deficits, behaviour
problems, learning difficulties, characteristic facial features
Statistics in Use
- more men than women are heavy drinkers
- drinking rates higher now than they were in the 80’s
Statistics on Abuse and Dependence
- drinking can cause problems with health, social relationships, and finances
- different rates of alcoholism in different cultures  may be because of the general
attitudes towards alcohol in different cultures
Progression
- 20% of people with a drinking problem have a spontaneous remission and the
drinking problem just stops
- most people with drinking problems do not consistently drink, but have periods
where they drink less or abstain from alcohol altogether
- beginning to drink at an early age predicts an alcohol use disorder in the future
- consumption of alcohol decreases fear and executive functioning, and increases
possibility of aggression and risk of becoming the victim of violence
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Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Substance Use Disorders
- sedative  calming
- hypnotic  sleep inducing
- anxiolytic  anxiety-reducing
- includes barbiturates (sedative) and benzodiazepines (reduce anxiety)
- Rohypnol falls in this category
Clinical Description
- low dose (barbiturates): calming and muscle relaxation ; larger dose: same effects
as alcohol ; extremely high dose: can cause death
- like alcohol, these drugs act on the GABA system
- mixing these drugs with alcohol can cause death
Statistics
- low use of barbiturates, high use of benzodiazepines
- more commonly used by: women, elderly, smokers
Stimulants
- most commonly used drugs
- includes caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine
- make you alert and energetic
- loss of appetite
Amphetamine Use Disorders
- Feel energetic and active, followed by a “crash” of feeling depressed or tired
- Amphetamine intoxication  changes in sociability, euphoria, anxiety, tension,
anger, impaired judgment, impaired social or occupational functioning
- Physiological response: increased HR and BP, muscular weakness, perspiration
or chills, nausea, weight loss, respiratory depression, chest pain, seizure, or coma
- Severe intoxication can lead to hallucinations, panic, agitation, and paranoid
delusions
- Amphetamines stimulate the central nervous system by enhancing the activity of
dopamine and norepinephrine  help the release of theses neurotransmitters and
block their reuptake, making more dopamine and adrenaline available in the
system. Too much of these neurotransmitters can lead to hallucinations and
delusions
Cocaine Use Disorders
- cocaine derived from leaves of coca plant in South America
Clinical Description
- low dosage  has the same effects as amphetamines ; higher dosage can cause high
HR and heart irregularities
- Use during pregnancy can lead to fetal deficits in auditory information processing
and language deficits
- “up” is caused by excessive dopamine in the system, due to cocaine blocking the
reuptake pathway (known as the “pleasure pathway”)
- withdrawal symptoms not like those of alcohol, but rather feelings of boredom
and apathy  feel that cocaine is the only thing that can “bring you back to life”
Nicotine Use Disorders
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