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Chapter 2

Drugs and Behaviour - Chapter 2

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Department
Psychology
Course
PS268
Professor
Bruce Mc Kay
Semester
Winter

Description
Drugs and Behaviour – Chapter 2  Laissez-Faire o Hands-off approach to government interference in the workings of the market  If the seller wanted to sell, and buyer wanted to buy, let them do it o Factors that precipated creation of drug laws have varied from country to country o Three concerns have led to creation of laws  Toxicity o Toxic – poisonous or dangerous o All drugs can be dangerous depending on the dosage  Alcohol in high doses can suppress respiration o Behavioural toxicity  Toxicity resulting from behavioural effects of a drug  Cause people to distort their behaviours o Physiological toxicity  Damages to the body o Categories of toxicity  Physiological toxicity is a social problem  Impacts hospital ERs, increased health care costs, lost productivity and social system suffers for it  Acute vs chronic  Acute – sharp/intense, sudden onset o Effects from one single use of the drug o Behavioural – intoxication from drug use that impairs behaviour and increases danger to individual o Physiological – overdose of drug causing bodily functions to impair  Chronic – long-lasting condition o Result from long-term exposure of the drug o Behavioural –personality changes because of alcohol use o Physiological – cancer/long and heart disease…etc o Determining the toxicity of drugs of abuse and misuse  Drug abuse warning network monitors toxicity of drugs in the USA (DAWN)  Collect data on drug-related information from emergency room visits o Could be for a wide range of reasons (as long as drugs are involved)  Not every ER uses the DAWN system (provides rough estimate for overall number of ER visits in entire country)  Collects information on deaths and injuries  Alcohol does it not recorded by DAWN system, unless combined with another drug  Canada does not have a system like dawn, but information is collected from Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)  Federally chartered institution  Collected information on all patient hospital separations (death, discharge, sign out, transfer)  Recorded based on International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes  Collects data on diagnostic, therapeutic and support intervention while in hospital  Has means to obtain information from ER, but has not yet o How dangerous is the drug?  DAWN and systems like it can determine relative toxicities of drugs of abuse and misuse within society  National survey on drug use and health (NSDUH)  Publishes rates of current use of alcohol and cocaine, alongside marijuana use for Americans between 19-25 1 Drugs and Behaviour – Chapter 2  Population and sample between NSDUH and DAWN differ  Possible to gain true measure of relative toxicities of drugs of abuse and misuse drugs in Canada  CIHI and Canadian Vital statistics provide platform for data collection o Intravenous Drug use and the spread of blood-borne diseases  Approx 75 000 to 125 000 intravenous users  Any liquefied drug can be injected  Cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, Ritalin and anabolic steroids most common  Potential of contracting HIV/Aids and life –threatening diseases (hepatitis c virus (HCV))  Contracted through needle sharing  250 000 canadians infected with hepatitis and 65 000 with HIV  About 60% with HCV and 17% with HIV infected during drug injection  Combination of IDU and HIV/HCV is a serious public health hazard  Toxicity not due to action of the drug but from sharing needles  Needle exchange programs help to alleviate/lower the risks of infections  First one started in Vancouver  Substance Dependence: What is it? o No clear line between what is a normal drug user or recreational user or someone who’s developed a dependence or lost control over substance use o definition of an addict changes depending on the person o Three basic processes  Processes that occur with repeated drug use  Tolerance  Reduced effect after repeated use  Body develops ways to compensate for chemical imbalance (reaching homeostasis)  Tolerance can be overcome by increasing dosage  Physical Dependence  Defined by occurrence of withdrawal syndrome o Consistent set of symptoms that appears after discontinuing use of a drug  When body is continuously exposed to the drug that it becomes accustomed to having it in the system o When drug use stops abruptly, symptoms appear as drug level decreases  Withdrawal symptoms vary from drug to drug  Ex: Heroin o Constant heroin use increases intestine movement o Withdrawal symptoms include diarrhea (most reliable)  Physical dependence o Individual has come to depend on presence of some amount of that drug to function normally  Psychological dependence  Behavioural dependence, indicated by high rate of drug use, craving for drug and tendency to relapse  Understanding reinforcement may help to understand psychological dependence o Behavioural act followed by consequence, resulting in increased tendency to repeat that act  Some drugs have reinforcing properties o Changing views of dependence th  Until 20 century  Dependent users were weak willed, lazy or immoral  Medical and science proved that dependence is a drug-induced illness 2 Drugs and Behaviour – Chapter 2  Early medical models  The duration of drug use is the best indicator of why some people become dependent on drugs  Most obvious changes resulting from long exposure to large do
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