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Psychopharmacology The systematic study of the effects of drugs on behavior, cognitive processing, and emotions. These drugs are called psychoactive or psychotropic ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Psychopharmacology

  • The systematic study of the effects of drugs on
    behavior, cognitive processing, and emotions.
  • These drugs are called psychoactive or
    psychotropic drugs drugs that change behavior,
    emotions, and cognitive processes by changing the
    normal activity of the nervous system

Derivation of the Term Psychopharmacology
  • Psyche mind
  • Pharmaka drugs and medicine (pharmakus)
  • Logos - study

Factors Influencing the Effects of Drugs
  • Factors related to the drug itself
  • 1. the chemical structure
  • 2. the dosage how much was taken
  • 3. how frequently the drug is taken
  • 4. how long since last taken

Factors Influencing the Effects of Drugs
  • Factors not related to the drug
  • 1. mind set of person taking the drug
  • 2. the setting where the drug was taken
  • 3. the persons unique biomedical make up

Good drugs and Bad Drugs?
  • Drugs are chemicals, they are neither good nor
    bad. Whether viewed as good or bad depends upon
  • 1. how much is taken
  • 2. why it is taken
  • 3. the context in which is taken

History of Drug Use
  • Use of naturally occurring psychoactive drugs has
    existed as long as human history
  • The use of mushrooms, opium, cannabis, morning
    glory seeds, alcohol, coca leaves, and even toads
    have been used for thousands of years

Other Species Use of Drugs
  • Apes, horses, and horses prefer water with
    alcohol over plain water
  • Some birds prefer fermented berries over fresh
  • Bees prefer the intoxicating nectar of certain
  • Llamas chew coca leaves
  • Reindeer have been known to seek hallucinogenic
  • Some ants maintain groups of beetles that secrete
    intoxicating substances

Drugs in the 19th Century
  • Major change in the use of drugs isolation or
    distillation of the active chemical that caused
    behavioral changes
  • 1805 morphine isolated from opium used to
    treat periods of insanity
  • 1857- cocaine isolated from coca leaves used to
    treat depression

Recreational and Social Use of Drugs
  • Most likely existed before recorded history
  • 19th century saw the use of therapeutic drugs
    becoming used for recreation
  • Jacque-Joseph Moreau a French psychiatrist, wrote
    about the medicinal and social use of hashish in
  • Drugs were widely used and their use was

Recreational and Social Use of Drugs
  • Recreational use of drugs began to be seen as bad
    and immoral
  • Addictive properties became known
  • More powerful drugs isolated
  • Larger quantities became available
  • Latter part of the 19th century laws prohibiting
    drug use and penalties for use began to be
    written not very successful

  • Psychopharmacology said to have begun in the
    1950s with the widespread use of chlorpromazine
    or Thorazine
  • Thorazine used as a pre-anesthesia in France to
    calm people. Tested on people with schizophrenia
  • Promazine an antihistamine used in surgery also
    found to reduce symptoms of schizophrenia
  • Dramatic increase in the testing of other drugs
    to treat mental illness and development of new

Illegal Drugs
  • Making certain drugs illegal or controlled
    substances, only to be used by MDs, has done
    little to curtail the use of these drugs.
  • May have prevented a major increase in the use of
  • Many people see no reason to stop
  • Drug abuse is wrong, but I am not abusing drugs

What is Drug Abuse?
  • The self administration of any drug in a manner
    that deviates from approved medical or societal
    pattern within a culture.
  • Problem What is considered a deviation?
  • Problem people may not recognize or admit when
    they meet the criteria of drug abuse

Effects of the War on Drugs
  • Use of narcotics has remained fairly constant
    since 1975 use of pharmacological narcotics has
    dramatically increased
  • Use of cocaine has fallen, but number of frequent
    users hasnt
  • For young adults major decline in use of
    cigarettes, hallucinogens, and cannabis. Alcohol
    use constant binge drinking has increased

Side Effects of the War on Drugs
  • Development of new more powerful drugs that can
    be shipped in smaller amounts
  • Increase in more hazardous ways of taking drugs
  • Issue of decreasing drug abuse a very complex
    problem that requires more than just attempting
    to stop the flow of drugs

Purpose of This Course
  • Education about the chemicals we call drugs
  • What are drugs?
  • What are their intended effects and side effects?
  • How do they work?
  • When can they be beneficial? Harmful?
  • Remember, just being legal does not make a drug a
    good drug
  • Nicotine and alcohol
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