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Chapter 1

Drugs and Behaviour - Chapter 1

4 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PS268
Professor
Bruce Mc Kay

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Drugs and Behaviour – Chapter 1  “The drug problem” o “drug use on the rise” that is constantly in the news, but how big of a problem does this have? o Talking about drug use  Not all drugs demand the same level of concern  5 questions  Who? o Who’s taking the drugs?  Majority of Canadians perceive drug and alcohol abuse to be a serious problem  More concerned when age is lower or if it is a girl vs. boy  What? o What drug is being taken?  Drugs is a large umbrella term, includes tobacco, alcohol and more serious drugs  When and where? o What is the situation of the drug use? o Is the time of the drug use appropriate?  Why? o Why are they taking drugs? o Motives of the drug use can be complex  How? o How is the drug taken?  Different methods of intake give different results o How is the drug being used?  Is their use considered “normal”? o Four principles of psychoactive drugs  Psychoactive drugs  Having effects on thoughts, emotions or behaviour  4 principles  Drugs, per se, are not good or bad o No bad drug, but behaviour o Drugs are not good or bad, but the effects it has on people is what is the most dangerous  Every drug has multiple effects o All psychoactive drugs act on more than one place in the brain o Virtually every drug that acts in brain also has effects on rest of the body  Both the size and quality of a drug’s effect depend on the amount the individual has taken o Different dose levels often show a change in kind of effect o Increase in dosage causes an increase in the same effects noticed at lower drug levels  Effect of any psychoactive drug depends on the individual’s history and expectations o Individuals attitude has a major effect on perception of drug experience o If they perceive the drug is of “high quality”, then effects will be perceived to be greater  How did we get here? o Drug-free society has never existed and will most likely never exist o Early cultures  Psychoactive drug use was intertwined with spirituality o Have things really changed? 1 Drugs and Behaviour – Chapter 1  What happens when drug use conflicts with religious practices?  Some psychoactive drugs have been granted exemption from the controlled drugs and substances act if drug use is used in religious ceremonies  Some drugs play a huge part in the economy of the country  Tobacco brings in a large amount of tax revenue  Legal pharmaceutical market  Proportion of economy devoted to psychoactive drugs has expanded considerably  Canada’s Drug Strategy (CDS) addresses ongoing public health concerns  Education, prevention, harm reduction and enforcement o Needle exchange programs  Drugs and drug use today o Gathering information about drug use in today’s society is not easy  Cannot measure illegal substances because tracking sales is impossible o Extent of drug use  Many surveys proposed to students to gather large amounts of information easily  Most interested in students because this is when drug use typically begins and reaches highest levels  Can only gather information from students in school, bias because students who drop ou are more likely to engage in drug use  Must assume that self-reports are done honestly o Trends in drug use  Surveys done have 4 main objectives  Determine prevalence, incidence and patterns of drug and alcohol use  To measure personal and social harms associated with patterns of different drug use during lifetime and 12 month period during survey  Assess context of use and identify risk and protective factors related to drug use and consequences  Establish baseline data to evaluate the successful of CDS strategies  Data collected provide wealth of information about trends in drug and alcohol use in Canada  Patterns in binge drinking similar to cannabis  Studies show more likely to reduce drug use by education students about the risk of using compared to the availability of the drug  Not causal  Patterns and rates of drug and alcohol use change with time  Changes because of attitude and behavioural change among Canadians  Correlates of Drug use o Once we know that there is some percentage of group who use it, must figure out characteristics of those who use drug compared to those who don’t  Studies rarely reveal much about very unusual or very common types or amounts of drug use  Correlates – variable statistically related to some other variable o Risk and protective factors  Risk factors correlated with higher rates of drug use  Protective factors correlated with lower
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