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Chapter 1

PSYC 3030 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Addictive Personality, Health Canada, Sensation Seeking

Course Code
PSYC 3030
Masood Kamlani

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Chapter One: Drug Use and Abuse
Chapter 1 defines the major terms associated with drug use and explains the drug classification systems. What
influences drug use and how that use affects us is the subject of drugs and human behaviour. Pages 1 20;
Did you know?
A drug‟s street name sometime describes the actual effect of that drug
Drugs tend to have a greater effect on women than men because men have less body fact, not because
they typically weigh more than women
The highest rates of alcohol and other drug use are found among 18 25 year olds
A majority if Canadians believe that if you try drugs you are likely to become dependant
What we see and hear in the media often focuses on the negative consequences of drug use, drugs are
popular all over the world because people perceive that they benefit from drugs
Individual Level: People say that drugs make them feel more relaxed, socialize more easily, feel
sexier, escape boredom, and feel more confidant and assertive.
Group or Community Level: drugs have been used for thousands of years as part of social and
religious rituals. A drug used for such purposes has little to do with the drug‟s chemistry but
rather with the social or cultural factors
Drugs have also been used to help ease suffering in humans and animals for specific medical purposes
One society may condone drugs (western) and another may condemn it (eastern Islamic)
Food is good. Poison is bad. Drugs may be good or bad, and whether they are seen as good or bad
depends on the person looking at them.
Defining Drug Use and Abuse
The scientific study of drugs is new and is called pharmacologyi it is concerned with all information
about the effects of chemical substances on living systems
Pharmacology is consisted a part of biology and allied with physiology and biochemistry
Psychopharmacologyii is an area within the field of pharmacology that focuses on the effects of drugs
on behaviour
Understanding how drugs affects human behaviour requires knowledge about biological, personal,
social and environmental factors
Defining drug is not simple
Broadly defined: drugiii is any chemical entity or mixture of entities, other than those required
for the maintenance of normal health (like food), the administration of which alters biological
function and possibly structure
What is Drug Use and what is Drug Abuse?
Many uses for drugs include instrumental such as reduce pain or anxiety or recreational such as
to get high or relax.
Drug Abuseiv any use of drugs that causes physical, psychological, legal, or social harm to the
individual or to others affected by the drug user‟s behaviour
Abuse is drug use with negative consequences and drug use is the larger category with drug
abuse as a subset

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Drug Classification
Classification system for drugs; based on the primary properties of drugs to communicate a drug‟s
nature and they ways it can be used. (see Table below for major ways of classifying drugs)
We focus on drug use and abuse of psychoactive drugs, those that affect moods, thinking and
behaviour, these drugs are the most likely to be used
Some substances have been designated formally as psychoactive drugs, such as alcohol, others have not,
such as aspirin.
Classification System
General Classification
Distinguishes source of
drugs (ex. plant)
May include many drugs
that have different
chemical effects
Therapeutic use
Similarities in how a drug
is used to treat or modify
something in the body
Outlines dosage and use
of medical treatments,
although some drugs are
used differently from
their therapeutic use (ex.
Abuse of pain relievers)
Morphine (used for pain)
Amphetamines (used for
appetite suppressant)
Site of Drug Action
Where in the body the
drug is causing physical
Limited when a drug
affects several different
body sites
Alcohol depresses the
Cocaine stimulates the
Chemical Structure
Similarities in the
chemical structures,
which derive synthetic
Synthetic compounds for
the chemical base of
specific drugs
Barbiturates are derived
from chemical structure
barbituric acid
Mechanism of Action
How a drug produces its
drug effectsv
Similar effects are used to
categorize pharmacology
May affect the same body
Alcohol and nicotine
depress the CNS and
decrease appetite
Street Name
Comes from drug
“subcultures” and the
street drug market
Names typically reflect
actual drug effects
Amphetamines are called
Barbiturates or
depressants are called
Use of the DSM-IV
Includes a category for “substance related” (alcohol or other drug related) disorders, which differentiates
between “substance dependence” and “substance abuse”
Dependence and abuse are considered separate diagnoses. A person could not be diagnosed with both
dependence with dependence and abuse of a given substance, although it is possible to meet the criteria
for dependence on one substance and for abuse of another
Substance Dependence DSM:
1. Tolerance
2. Withdrawal
3. Substance often taken in larger amounts or over a period longer than intended
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