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Chapter 1

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY100H1
Professor
Suzanne Erb
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 1 – Psychopharmacology in Perspective - 7/10 leading causes of disability in the US either involves disorders/mental illnesses that drugs are commonly used to treat or involve alcohol or other drug use disorders. - Psychopharmacology is the discipline that attempts to systematically study the effects of drugs on behaviour, cognitive functioning, and emotions. - Psychoactive/psychotropic drugs are drugs that alter behaviour, cognitive functioning and emotions. They are chemicals that induce psychological effects by altering the normal biochemical reactions that take place in the nervous system. - Derived from Greek “Pharmakos” which meant scapegoat – a pharmakos was a person that was sacrificed as a remedy. Around 600 BC it began to refer to medicine, drug or poison. - Three ingredients in drug experience should always be kept in mind. (1) Set – the psychological makeup and expectations of the person taking a drug (2) Setting – the social and physical environment in which the drug is taken (3) the individuals unique biochemical makeup. Historical Overview - Have been using drugs to alter moods for thousands of years. Viking Warriors, Native American Indians, Guatemalans, Aztecs, etc.gg - Cannabis, opium poppies, rauwolfia (Himalayas), coca leaf, tea. Numerous other plants containing caffeine or similar-acting substances have been used in ancient cultures of Mexico, South America, Africa. Tobacco use in Native Americans. - Except caffeine, the most common psychoactive substance used around the world today is alcohol. The earliest records of purposeful alcohol production was by Egyptians. - Even non-human animals have been observed to seek out substances with mood altering properties. Predecessors to Modern Pharmacotherapies - During the 1800s a number of psychoactive drugs were isolated or distilled from plants or developed from non-plant sources. o Morphine was isolated from opium, effective to treat insanity o Cocaine was extracted from the coca leaf, potential depression treatment o Bromine and Chloral were used as sedatives o Chloroform and Nitrous Oxide were used to treat insanity o Cannabis, hemlock, strychnine were used to treat a variety of disorders - It was also during the 1800s that investigations of the formal relationships between drug variables and psychological processes (particularly in mental illness) began. Jacques-Joseph Moreau de Tours was a highly respected physician in France who gave his patients hashish. He studied a numerous amount of drugs, but experienced a lack of recognition during his time. Today he is regarded as the first Psychopharmacologist. - The very first book in modern experimental psychopharmacology, as well as the first book devoted to the drugs and animal behaviour was published in 1862 by A. P. Charvel, a young medical student. He studied the effect of opium on various animals. He discovered that a drug’s effects depended on many factors (person’s history, tolerance, dose, and method of administration). His discoveries were also largely ignored by his contemporaries. - During the late 1800s and early 1900s, some of the first psychologists began exploring the relationship between various drugs and psychological variables. - Freud investigates the effects of cocaine o fatigue, depression, strength, morphine addiction etc frequently on himself. - Ivan Pavlov attempted to treat schizophrenics by using some of his conditioning techniques and including long periods of sleep with bromides. It was doubtful that he was successful because an accumulation of bromides in the system would induce a psychosis-like state. - William James wrote about some of his fascinating experiences while under the influence of Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas). th - The first half of the 20 century was accompanied by the synthesis of clinical use of a wide variety of new psychoactive substances with potential therapeutic value. o Barbiturates were used to help sustain interest in sleep therapy o Amphetamine was used for narcolepsy and mild depressive states o LSD was discovered as one of the most potent psychoactive substances to humankind The Psychopharmacological Revolution - Despite the extensive history of drug use, there was no concerted interest in studying drug and their influence on cognition, emotions and behaviour until the middle of the 20 century. - This all changed following the discovery that a drug (chlorpromazine) could dramatically reduce the core symptoms of schizophrenia. It was able to improve their thought processes and improve their relationships with others. - Previously many drugs had been used in trying to treat schizophrenia, and through this, it provided evidence that certain mental illnesses could be linked to abnormalities in the biochemistry in the brain, rather than due to purely environmental factors. - This discovery lead to the formation of a distinct discipline known as psychopharmacology. Starting with antihistamines in 1937, they were initially used to treat allergies but were later on suspected to treat other clinical conditions. - In 1949 an antihistamine named Promethazine was introduced as an adjunct to surgery. Later on it was used
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