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Chapter 12

PSYC 3140 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Diazepam, Clouding Of Consciousness, Neurotoxicity

Course Code
PSYC 3140
Shawn Thomson

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Abnormal Psychology
Chapter 12
Substance use and addictive Disorder
Drug: Any substance other than food that affects our minds and bodies.
(‘Drug’ and ‘Substance’ can be used interchangeably)
Substance Use Disorder: Patterns of maladaptive behaviours and reactions brought
about by repeated use of substances.
Developing a Tolerance: the need of increased dose of the substance to produce the
desired effect.
Withdrawal: When an individual suddenly stops or cuts back on a substance, and
unpleasant/possibly dangerous symptoms such as cramps, anxiety, sweating, nausea etc.
start to occur. These are called Withdrawal Symptoms.
Gambling Disorder: An addictive disorder that seems to have similar effects as some of
these other addictive disorders.
The substances people misuse fall into 4 Categories; Depressants, Stimulants,
Hallucinogens and Cannabis
These slow the activity of the Central Nervous System, reduce tension and reduce
inhibitions. May also interfere with a persons judgment, motor activity and
3 Types of Depressants; Alcohol, Sedative-Hypnotic Drugs, Opioids
Binge-drinking Episode: Consumption of 5 or more drinks on a single occasion.
Males outnumber Females in Binge-drinking.
Alcohol beverages contain Ethyl Alcohol- A chemical that is quickly absorbed into the
bloodstream through the lining if the stomach and intestine. All alcohol beverages contain
Ethyl Alcohol.
Ethyl Alcohol works to slow, depress The CNS functioning by binding to various
neurons. Tends to bind neurons that naturally would have been bound by GABA.
The extent of effect by alcohol is determined by it’s concentration or proportion in the
bloodstream. More alcohol is needed to affect a larger individual.

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Women get drunk more easily than men do because they have less of the enzyme called
Alcohol Dehydrogenase – the enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the stomach before it
enters the bloodstream. So women will face greater physical, physiological problems than
men even if the same mounts are consumed.
Alcohol is broken down or metabolized by the liver into CO2 and H2O.
Only time can cause a person to sober up. Drinking coffee etc. does not.
Alcohol Use Disorder (Alcoholism)
Men outnumber females by 2:1 for this disorder.
American Indians tend to show the highest rates of alcohol use disorder. Asians have low
alcohol dehydrogenase and therefore don’t drink as much due to the increased effects it
has on them.
Clinical Picture – people usually rely on alcohol to enable them to do things the normally
wouldn’t be able to do so. Heavy drinkers have problems in Short – term Memory, Speed
of thinking and Balance.
Tolerance and Withdrawal
A particular withdrawal reaction is called Delirium Tremens “the DTs”.
Delirium Tremens: When a person stops or reduces alcohol consumption, they start
seeing terrifying visual hallucinations that begin within 3 days after they stop (or
reduced). Symptoms include confusion, clouded consciousness and Terrifying
What is the Personal and Social impact of Alcoholism?
Alcohol over works the liver if consumed excessively and develops an irreversible
condition called Cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis- the liver becomes scarred and dysfunctional due to excessive alcohol
Alcohol lowers the desire for food, leaving many people malnourished, weak and prone
to disease.
Korsakoff’s Syndrome: an Alcohol related Vitamin-B deficiency that is marked by
confusion, memory loss, and other neurological symptoms.
People with this disorder may try and make up for their memory loss gaps by
Confabulation: reciting made-up events to fill in memory gaps.
Excessive alcohol during pregnancy may cause baby to be born with;
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: pattern of abnormalities that may include intellectual
development disorder, hyperactivity, head/face deformities, heart defects, slow growth.
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