The three myths of addiction:
1. Addictive drugs can quickly corrupt: i.e.
morphine taken for pain can often leads to heroin
2. Addictions cannot be overcome voluntarily
3. Addiction as a concept can be applied to many
other repetitive, pleasure-seeking behaviors
Psychoactive drugs, 198
What are depressants and what are their effects?
Depressants drugs that slow or calm neural activity
Disinhibition; slowed neural processing; memory
Reduced self-awareness and self-control; expectancy
Alcohol impairs judgment and inhibitions; people
who think they are drinking alcohol exhibited less
sexual restraints
Abrams and Wilson Rutgers experiment: if people
believe they are drinking alcohol they will behave as
if they are.
Alcohol increases sexual aggression and casual sex.
Barbiturates (tranquilizers) similar to alcohol
because it lowers SNS activity; large doses can cause
Opiates (morphine, heroin) depress brain activity
and bring pleasure with addiction; pain results with
withdrawal because the brain stops producing its own
endorphins; the two are chemically similar
What are Stimulants and what are their effects?
These speed up and excite bodily activity
12. Caffeine increases heart and breathing
boosting mood/athletic performance
13. Nicotine: tobacco products are as addictive as
cocaine and heroin; triggers the release of
epinephrine and norepinephrine reducing appetite
and increasing alertness
14. Amphetamines after these wear off the user
experiences a crash: headaches, tiredness, even
depression; methamphetamine (speed)
15. Cocaine most powerful stimulant: blocks the
re uptake of dopamine because it is chemically
similar; neurotransmitters (remains in the synapse,
leading to intense mood)
Ecstasy: MDMA, both a stimulant and
hallucinogen; it releases stored serotonin and
blocks its reabsorption; taking this drug even once
can lead to serotonin neuron destruction.
What are Hallucinogens and what are they effects:
They distort perceptions and evoke vivid images
17. LSD (PCP) leads to intense emotions and
seeing of colors, shapes, even out-of-body
experiences; chemically similar to serotonin;
synthetic substance; Albert Hoffman created this in
Hallucinations during LSD usage can include
experiences like near death experiences, a
separation from the body feeling
18. Marijuana; natural substance
a. contains an organic compound called THC that
causes euphoric high, relaxation, increased
sensitivity to colors
b. Impairs judgment; causes lung damage; disrupts
memory, decreases reaction time; lowers sex
Influences on drug use, 208
Why do some people become regular users of
psychoactive drugs?
1. biology: alcoholism influenced by heredity;
identical v. fraternal twins
2. psychology: the feeling that life is meaningless
3. psychology: stress and/or depression; failure
People in poverty use to mask pain of being poor;
wealth use because they can afford
4. sociology and culture : Peer culture; behavior v.
Teens may feel their own behavior is not
destructive; they attribute their own behavior to the
situation and blame others for their own problems
(rather than the situation); they’ll say they take
drugs due to outside factors but assess others’
behavior based on internal factors; this is known as
the fundamental attribution error.
VI. Near Death Experiences
1. A state of consciousness reported after being close
to death.
2. May see bright tunnel
3. LSD or oxygen deprivation are similar experiences
4. Dualism mind and body are two distinct parts
separating after death
5. Monism we cannot exist without our bodies