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Chapter 11

PSYCH257 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Cue Reactivity, Origin Of Replication, Reinforcement

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Allison Kelly

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Chapter 11
Perspectives on substance-related disorders (p. 381-385)
• Polysubstance use- use of multiple mind altering and behavior-altering substances, such as
• Substance- chemical compounds that are ingested in order to alter mood or behavior
• Psychoactive substances alter mood, behavior or both (includes cocaine, heroin, alcohol,
alcohol, nicotine, caffeine
• Levels of involvement:
Use- ingestion of psychoactive substances in moderate amounts that don’t significantly
interfere with social, educational, or occupational function. For example, having a drink
with a friend to relax
Intoxication- Our physiological reaction to ingested substances- drunkenness or getting
high. Depends on how much you take, the type of drug, and the individual’s biological
reaction. Examples- impaired judgement, mood changes, and lowered motor ability
Abuse- how significantly it interferes with the user’s life. If it disrupts your education,
job, relationships or puts you in a physically dangerous situations, you would be
considered an abuser. Drug use can predict later job outcomes
Substance Dependence-
i) The person is physiologically dependent on the drug(s), requires increasingly
more of the drug to experience the same effect (tolerance) and will respond
physiologically in a neg way when the substance is no longer ingested
(withdrawal). Tolerance+withdrawal are physiological reactions to the chemicals
being ingested. Example- headache when you didn’t have your morning coffee.
Not all substances are physiologically addicting
ii) Drug-seeking behaviour as a measure of dependence. The repeated use of a drug,
a desperate need to ingest more of the substance (stealing money to buy drugs)
and the likelihood that use will resume after a period of abstinence are
behaviours that define the extent of drug dependence (psychological
-DSM-5 combines substance abuse and substance dependence into the general definition
of substance-related disorders based on research that suggests that they co-occur
-Substance related disorders are now described by the levels of severity
-You can use drugs and not abuse them. Examples, beer, wine and even cocaine. However
we do not know ahead of time who’s likely to become dependent
-Dependence can be present without abuse. Example- cancer patients who take morphine
for pain may become dependent on the drug—build up a tolerance and go through
withdrawal if stopped—without abusing it
Diagnostic issues
DSM-5 – substance related disorders includes 11 symptoms that range from relatively mild to
Symptoms of other disorders can complicate the substance abuse picture significantly. For
example, do some people drink because they’re depressed or do drinking and its
consequences create depression?
Substance abuse might occur concurrently with other disorders for several reasons:
-Substance-related disorders and anxiety and mood disorders are highly prevalent in our
society and may occur together frequently just by chance
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-Drug intoxication and withdrawal can cause symptoms of anxiety, depression and
psychosis and can increase risk-taking
-Ingestion of alcohol led to increased risk-taking among regular gamblers when they were
using a video lottery terminal
-Mental-health disorders cause the substance use disorder. Example, people with anxiety
use alcohol to medicate symptoms
DSM-5 tries to define when a symptom is a result of substance abuse and when its not
Substances grouped into six general categories:
1. Depressants- result in behavioural sedation and relaxation.
2. Stimulants- cause us to be more active and alert
3. Opiates- produce analgesia (Reduce pain) and euphoria
4. Hallucinogens-alter sensory perception
5. Other drugs of abuse
6. Gambling disorder
Biological Dimensions
Familial and Genetic Influences
Research in twin, family, and adoption studies indicates that certain people may be
genetically vulnerable to drug abuse
What may be inherited among those genetically vulnerable to alcoholism is a propensity to
experience the pleasurable consequences of drinking to a greater extent than others
Psychological Dimensions
• Many of the drugs used and abused by humans also seem to be pleasurable to animals
To some extent, all psychoactive drugs provide a pleasurable experience
Negative reinforcement
• Drugs help reduce unpleasant feelings through negative reinforcement (provide escape
from physical pain, stress and/or panic and anxiety)
• Substance use becomes a way for users to cope with the unpleasant feelings that go along
with lifre circumstances—suggests that to prevent people from using drugs, we may have to
address influences such as stress and anxiety
• Opponent processing theory- an increase in positive feelings will be followed in negative
feelings a short time later. Similarly, an increase in neg feelings will result in an increase in
positive feelings. Example- athletes often report feeling depressed after finally attaining a long-
sought goal
- This theory claims that this mechanism is strengthened with use and weakened by disuse
—a person who has been using a drug for some time will need more of it to achieve the same
results (tolerance). At the same time, the neg feelings that follow drug use tend to intensify for
many people, this is the point at which the motivation for drug taking shifts from desiring the
euphoric high to alleviating the increasingly unpleasant crash
Cognitive factors
• Expectancy effect- what people expect to experience when they use drugs influences how
they react to them. Placebo or real alcohol- you will feel what you expect to feel
• Expectancies develop before the use of drugs, perhaps as a result of parents and peers drug
• Adolescents may start to
• drink b/c they believe that these substances will have positive effects
• DSM-5 includes cravings as one of the criteria for diagnosing a substance related
disorder these urges seem to be triggered by factors such as availability of the drug, contact with
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