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Chapter 14

Drugs and Behaviour - Chapter 14

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Bruce Mc Kay

Drugs and Behaviour – Chapter 14  Animism and Religion o Animism – belief that animals, plants, rocks, streams…etc derive characteristics from spirit within object o If plant contains spirit, then eating it will transfer spirit to person eating it o Plants and their psychoactive effects important reasons for spiritual and religious traditions in many societies across the world  Terminology and Types o 1924 – Lewis Lewin Classified psychoactive drugs as Phantastica  Drugs that create a world of fantasy o 1960s – psychedelic = “mind viewing” drugs o Psychotomimetic drugs = produces hallucinations and altered sense of reality, can be referred to as psychotic  Implies that it produces dangerous effects and form of mental disorder o Entheogen – substances thought to create spiritual or religious experiences o Entactogen – produce a touching within, enhance feelings of empathy o Hallucinogens – produce hallucinations  Phantastica o Altering perceptions while allowing person to remain with present world  Aware of fantasy and real world o More pure hallucinogenic effects, and little danger of dying of OD o Based off chemical structure, two types, indole and catechol o Indole Hallucinogens  Indole – chemical structure found in serotonin and LSD  D-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)  Most potent and notorious, brought attention to hallucinogens in 1960  Originally synthesized from ergot alkaloids from ergot funcus  LSD Discovery and Early Research o 1938 – Albert Hoffman synthesized LSD o 1943 – first effects recorded  Took .25mg – 5-8x normal dose o 0.05mg usually effective, some can use 0.03mg o LSD widely used as adjunct to psychotherapy  Because dreams represent subconscious thoughts  LSD took over as modern truth serum o Two potential treatments with LSD  Might be good treatment for alcohol dependence  Allow people with terminal cancer to achieve greater understanding of their mortality o Most of the research conducted on animals to understand neural level mechanism of action  Secret Army/CIA Research with LSD o US army did research into hallucinogen use o Frank Olson committed suicide November 28,1953 after being exposed to LSD o Wanted to use psychedelics for warfare and prisoner interrogation o CIA and Canadian government collaborated to fund mind control/behaviour modification research  Project MK-Ultra  Investigated LSD effects on inmates and psychiatric patients, without their consent 1 Drugs and Behaviour – Chapter 14  Claims that the research wasn’t about mind control, but about extracting information  Torture  Recreational Use of LSD o 1960 – Timothy Leary used magic mushrooms  Tested it on Harvard grad students  Leary claimed that experimenter should use drug along with subject  Calls scientific value of research into question  Fired from his position in 1963 o 1966 – Leary started League of Spiritual Discovery  LSD as sacrament o Promise of new sensations, potent aphrodisiac effects, kinship with friendly peer group spread drug rapidly o 1967/1968 – drug use peaked  Started to taper off  “bad trips”, prolonged psychotic reactions, possible chromosome damage, self injuries and flashbacks o 1980 – Leary talked about how to use drugs without abuse o Concerns about long term effects restricted use/sale  Punishable by law in 1962  LSD Pharmacology o Odourless, colourless, tasteless o Very potent – little LSD to produce effects o Never definitely linked to one human OD death o Gastrointestinal absorption is rapid o Half of LSD metabolized every 3 hours  Metabolized in liver and excreted o Tolerance develops rapidly  Recovery also rapid, so weekly use is possible o Cross-tolerance has been shown o No physical dependence has been indentified o Sympathomimetic agent  Dilated pupils, elevated temperature and blood pressure, increased salivation o LSD works by acting at serotonin receptors o Most of the effects can be blocked by drugs that act as serotonin-receptor antagonists o LSD acts as ether agonist or antagonist at different receptors  The LSD Experience o Most important effect is modification of perception, visual images o Low doses – described as illusions or perceptual distortions o Some images can be seen with eyes open or closed, therefore they’re not illusions  One stage – form-constants  Shapes are combined with intense colours and brightness  Another stage – complex images  Landscapes, faces or objects combined with form constants o Altered sense of time o Changes in perception of body 2 Drugs and Behaviour – Chapter 14 o Alterations of auditory input o Synaesthesia – mixing of senses  Sounds appear as visual images  Images alter with rhythm of music o Altered perception combined with enhanced emotionality  May be related to arousal of sympathetic branch of autonomic nervous system  May interpret image as exceptionally beautiful because of intense emotion  May also induce intense fear or sadness o Each trip differs  May last 6-9 hours o Initial effects  Individual may feel dizzy or hot/cold, dry mouth o After 1 hour  Intoxication in full bloom  Depersonalization – detached from body  Body distortions  Loss of self-awareness and control of behaviour o Two types of reactions  Expansive  Excitement/feeling of grandiose and feel like uncovering secrets of universe  Adverse Reactions o No possibility of determining true incidence of adverse reactions to LSD  No way to know amount or purity o Adverse reactions to street drugs due to many factors  Panic Reactions o Can develop during drug-induced experience o Can cause people to not want to take drug again  Flashbacks o Recurrence of symptoms weeks/months after o Frequency and duration quite variable and unpredictable  Diminishes in frequency and intensity if individual stops using drugs o Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder  Geometric hallucinations, false perceptions of movements, flashes of colour, intensified colour, trails from moving objects…etc  Beliefs about LSD o Creativity  Increase creativity or release creativity that inhibitions keep bottled inside  Psilocybin made remote mental associations more available which might enhance creativity  Less ability to focus on task o Therapy  Belief that it can treat alcohol dependence  LSD produced slightly better results early, results similar after 6 months  Reduced pain and depression of patients with terminal cancer 3 Drugs and Behaviour – Chapter 14  Less worry about future, appearance of positive mood state  Psilocybin  Magic mushrooms have long history of religious and ceremonial use  Peyote dropped from western sight for 300 years after Spanish conquerors  Late 1930s – mushrooms still used by indigenous groups in S. Mexico  1955 – Gordon Wasson first outsider to try using mushrooms  Most known mushroom – psilocybin Mexicana o Psilocybin – primary active agent  Prodrug that is readily dephophorylated after ingestion  Psilocybe semilanceata – most common in nature, most potent o Known as the liberty cap o Found throughout atlantic provinces and BC  Described as little brown mushrooms, many toxic look-alikes  Dried mushrooms are 0.2-0.5% psilocybin o Effects similar to LCD  Effects related to amount used o 4mg yielding pleasant experience, relaxation and some body sensations o Higher dosages cause considerable changes o Changes to psilocin in body, and 1.5x as potent as psilocybin  May be due to higher lipid solubility  Psilocybin induces a more mystical experience  Psilocybe can be grown in closet with spores and proper growing conditions o Spores are legal to possess, but possessing mushrooms is illegal  Morning glories and Hawaiian baby Woodroses  Seeds of the morning glory had greatest religious significance o D-lysergic acid amide found in the seeds  Shows that it’s not just found in primitive plants  Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds also used o Higher levels of d-lysergic acid amide  Has adverse effects, fuzzy outer coating is toxic  DMT  Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) o Never been widely used in Canada  Most important naturally occurring hallucinogens o Occurs in many plants and humans/animals  Active agent in Cohoba snuff  Usually snuffed, smoked or injected  Effect is brief, no matter the intake method  No tolerance develops  Illegal to possess and sell  Ayahuasca  Comes from the banisteriopsis aapi vine  Typically mixed with with leaves of psychotria virdis o Contains harmaline and DMT when mixed o Harmaline inhibits Monoamine oxidase  Dramatic psy
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