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Abnormal Psych Ch 17

Course Code
PSYC 3140
Joel Goldberg

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Ch 17: substance related disorders
Substance: any natural or synthesized product that has psychoactive effects - changes
perceptions, thoughts, behaviors and emotions
Studies have shown that some drugs, alcohol or nicotine have similar rates b/w canada and
USA, however some drugs like cocaine (USA higher rate) or LSD (Canada higher rates) have
rates different in the two countries
Men are more likely to use illicit drugs, but when women do use, they are just as likely as
men to become dependent on the drug, and can suffer more physiological problems
Illegal drug use peaked in the 1970’s and has declined since; however alcohol use re-
mained stable, and ecstasy use has risen
17.1 society and substance use
Societies differ with their attitudes on different drugs, based on their laws and approach to
In the mid twenties of Zurich, they had a “needle park” where addicts could come to the
park and get high legally: physicians were on site distributing clean needles - this eventually
Substance-related disorders: are when substances are not used medically or religiously,
and change the mood of an individual, while making others in society nervous; person begins
to build their life around the substance and can endanger both others and their own life
17.2 definitions of substance-related disorders
There are 4 substance related conditions: substance intoxication, withdrawal, abuse, and
Other substance-related disorder: other substances beside for the ones in the 5 categories
(below) that can either have psychoactive effects or for some will not i.e. Muscle relaxants,
antidepressants or nerve gas

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Substance Intoxication
Set of behavioral and psychological changes that occurs as a result of the physiological ef-
fect of a substance on the CNS
Their sleep pattern changes, they can’t control their body movement, can’t think straight, in-
terpersonal interaction changes: ppl begin being intoxicated soon after digesting a substance
but declines when blood substance levels drop (symptoms can last long past when the sub-
stance is detectable in the body)
Symptoms of intoxication depend on what type, how long its been ingested, how much was
taken and the persons tolerance
Substance withdrawal
People use for prolonged periods and then stop or reduce their use
Diagnosis of withdrawal is only made if it creates distress or impairment in their persons ev-
eryday functioning i.e. Caffeine w/drawl do not create get distress
Motor problems maybe noticeable for many weeks or months after someone stops using
Substance abuse
Persons recurrent use of a substance results in harmful consequences
Person must: fail to fulfill important obligations (work, school or home); person uses even
when its hazardous (while driving); person continually has legal problems (arrested for
drunk driving); individual continues to use, even after having social or legal problems
To diagnosis w/ substance abuse, person must have repeatedly had problems in ONE
category for at least 12 months
Substance dependence (More advance condition than abuse)
Closest thing to having a drug addiction: person either shows tolerance or withdrawal
from the drug when they are dependent: tolerance can lead to a high blood concentration of a

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drug w/out the person even knowing it - cannabis and PCP show lower risks of tolerance
than other drugs
Physiological dependence [tolerance or withdrawal] is not REQUIRED to be diagnosed w/
substance dependence: person is always craving the drug and will do anything to get it - they
may say they will quit, but then will compulsively take it
Drugs which act quicker on the CNS and drugs which wear off QUICKER are also more
likely to lead to dependence
17.3 depressants
Used to slow the activity of the CNS - at heavy doses induce stupor, while at small doses
make ppl sleepy and relaxed
In low doses: causes euphoria and relaxation for ppl (feel less inhibited)
In high doses: includes fatigue, decreased motivation and confusion
With extreme intoxication, ppl can fall into comas and stupor; often ppl will not recognize or
will deny they are intoxicated and once sober, can exhibit blackouts, which is amnesia from
events when they were intoxicated
Alcohol-related substance disorders are less likely to happen in countries where alcohol is
consumed almost always with meals (i.e. France), than in countries that it is not
Being above 0.08% blood alcohol level, indicates that someone is legally intoxicated
Even if ppl are not chronic alcoholics, they can still die from large quantities of drinks, nor-
mally due to respiratory paralysis or car accidents
Alcohol abuse and dependence
Ppl are diagnosed w/ alcohol abuse when they drink in dangerous situations, fail to meet
obligations bc of alcohol and have recurrent legal/social problems
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