Drugs and Consciousness 10. Discuss the nature of drug dependence and identify some common misconceptions about addiction. Psychoactive drugs are chemicals that change perceptions and moods. Continued use of a psychoactive drug produces tolerance, and cessation of use may produce the undesirable side effects of withdrawal. The pain of withdrawal and intense craving for a dose indicates a physical dependence. People can also develop psychological dependence, particularly for drugs used to relieve stress. Many drug researchers believe the following three myths about addiction are false: (1) Medical drugs, for example, those used to control pain, are powerfully addictive; (2) addictions cannot be overcome voluntarily but only through treatment; and (3) we can extend the concept of addiction to cover a whole spectrum of repetitive, pleasure-seeking behaviors such as overeating, exercise, gambling, sex, and surfing the Internet. 1. Describe the physiological and psychological effects of depressants, stimulants, and
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