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chapter 10 - Chapter 10 Drugs and Consciousness Some drugs...

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Chapter 10 Drugs and Consciousness - Some drugs alter consciousness - Psychoactive drugs are chemicals that change perceptions and moods through their actions at the neural synapses - Continued use of drugs/alcohol produce tolerance (users brain adapts its chemistry to offset drug effect— neuroadaptation) ... the user requires larger and larger doses to experience the same effect o Ie. Why does a person who has never drank alcohol get tipsy on the first drink but an alcoholic will need a couple of drinks to get tipsy? Because of tolerance - Users who stop taking psychoactive drugs may experience withdrawal (discomfort or distress following discontinued use of drug) o Users may experience physical pain or intense cravings indicating physical dependence (a physiological need for a drug... marked by withdrawal symptoms when drug is not stopped being used) o Users may also develop psychological dependence (a psychological need to use a drug as to relieve negative emotions) particularly for stress relieving drugs ... Some drugs may not be physically addictive but may become important part of users life - Misconceptions about addiction o Addiction: compulsive craving for a substance despite adverse consequences and often physical symptoms such as aches, nausea and distress following sudden withdrawal o Myth 1: addictive drugs quickly corrupt... ie. Morphine taken to control pain is powerfully addictive and often leads to heroin abuse No. People who use it rarely develop cravings of an addict who uses morphine as a mood altering drug o Myth 2: Addictions cannot be overcome voluntarily; therapy is required o Myth 3: We can extend the concept of addiction to cover not just drug dependencies, but to a whole spectrum of repetitive , pleasure seeking behaviours Psychoactive drugs - Three categories of psychoactive drugs which do all their work in the brains synapses , they stimulate, inhibit or mimic the activity of the brain’s own chemical messengers
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Chapter 10 Drugs and Consciousness o Depressants: drugs that calm neural activity and slow body functions Alcohol: Disinhibition: alcohol is an equal opportunity drug... it increases harmful tendancies... angered people become even more angry... also.. some people when they get tipsy become more inclined to leave extravagant tips Slowed Neural Processing: small doses, alcohol can relax drinker by slowing sympathetic nervous system activity... in larger doses, alcohol can cause slow reactions, speech slurs, skilled performance deteriorates... and paired with sleep deprivation can become a sedative Memory Disruption: disrupts the processing of recent experiences into long-term memories o Due partly to alcohol suppressing REM sleep, which help to fix the days experience into permanent memories o A labtest on rats showed that heavy drinking diminishes genesis of nerve cells, impairs the growth of synaptic connection and contributes to nerve cell death, MRI scans showed it can shrink the brain (especially in women with less of stomach enzyme that digest alcohol ....
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