Pitt PSY 0505 - Introduction to Drugs and Behavior
Type Lecture Note
Pages 18

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Introduction to Drugs and BehaviorI. Introductiona. Behavior: Action of reactions of an organism in response to external or internal stimulib. Drug: A chemical substance that, when taken, alters the functioning of the body in same way, excluding those nutrients considered to be related to normal functioningi. Instrumental use: Drug use for a specific purpose other than getting “high”1. Ex. Taking Tylenol to get rid of a headacheii. Recreational use: Drug use to achieve some pleasurable effectiii. Drug abuse: Drug-taking behavior resulting in some form of physical, mental, or social impairment II. Psychoactive Drugsa. Psychoactive (psychotropic) drugs: affect behavior by altering the function of the central nervous system i. Two categories1. Drugs of abuse (recreational drugs)2. Psychotherapeutic drugsii. Four basic Principles1. Drugs of abuse may have sound medical uses2. Every drug has multiple effects3. The size and the quality of a drug’s effect depend on the amount taken4. The effect of any psychoactive drug depends on the individual’s history and expectationsiii. Terminology1. Pharmacy: Science of preparation of drugs2. Pharmacology: Study of the fate of drugs in the body and their actions on the body3. Psychopharmacology: the study of the behavioral effects of drugs4. Neuropharmacology: the study of the effects of drugs on the nervous system (ex. Brain)III. Categories of drugs grouped by medical usea. Sedative hypnotics (depressants)i. Behavioral effects: sedate, relax, calm people. At higher doses can induce sleep hypnoticii. Examples: alcohol, barbituates, chloral hydrateiii. Uses: anti-convulsants, sedative, muscle relaxantb. Anxiolytics (minor tranquilizers)i. Behavioral effects: sedate, relax, calm people downii. Examples: benzodiazepines (valium, Librium, Xanax)iii. Uses: acute anxiety, anti-convulsant, muscle relaxantc. Psychostimulantsi. Behavioral effects: in low moderate doses, increase alertness, elevate mood, reduce fatigueii. Examples: amphetamine, cocaine, caffeine, Ritaliniii. Uses: mostly used recreationally (sometime narcolepsy and ADHD)d. Antipsychotics/neurolepticsi. Behavioral effects: calm highly excited patients, alleviate psychotic symptomsii. Example: Haldol, thorazineiii. Uses: Used to treat schizophrenia and mania in bipolar disordere. Antidepressants/anti-manicsi. Behavioral effects: Elevate mood of depressed patients (antidepressants), and can stabilize mood in bipolar disorder (anti-manics)ii. Example: lithium, fluoxetine (Prozac), Zoloftiii. Uses: used to treat major depression and bipolar disorderf. Hallucinogens/psychedelicsi. Behavioral effects: hallucinations, altered states of consciousness, psychotic-like behaviorii. Examples: LSD, mescaline, shrooms, PCP, weediii. Uses: Primary use is recreational, religious ceremonies. Some medical use (cannabinoids  anti-nausea and vomiting)g. Anesthetics/analgesicsi. Behavioral effects: block or relieve pain, produce euphoriaii. Examples: narcotics, sedative hypnotics, cocaine, ketamine, inhalantsiii. Uses: significant medical and recreational useIV. US Government Classificationa. Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 (prohibition of opium and opiate analogs, other drugs later lumped in)b. Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (modern foundation of the US drug enforcement policy)i. Regulation of manufacturing, distributing and dispensing potentially dangerous drugsii. Drugs covered by this act are divided into 5 schedules and are referred to as controlled substances1. Schedule Ia. High potential for abuse, no recognized legitimate medical use in the USi. Examples: heroin, LSD, marijuana2. Schedule IIa. High potential for abuse, currently accepted for medical usei. Examples: codeine, morphine, cocaine, amphetamine3. Schedule IIIa. Potential for abuse less than I or II, current medical usei. Examples: barbituates, vicodin4. Schedule IVa. Low abuse potential, current medical usei. Examples: Valium, Xanax5. Schedule Va. Lowest potential for abuse, current medical usei. Examples: cough syrup6. Sometimes Schedule VI  inhalantsPrinciples of Drug ActionI. How big of an effect will a drug have?a. Molecular structure of the drugb. Concentration of the drug at the site of action depends on 1) dose administered and 2) rate of accumulation/removal from site of actioni. Drug dose alone doesn’t determine the effect of drug on body  also depends on pharmacokinetics of the drugII. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics a. Pharmacokinetics: refers to the processes involved in the movement of drugs within biological systems with respect to absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretioni. AKA, the effect of the body on the drugb. Pharmacodynamics: the study of biochemical and physiological effects of drugs and their mechanism of actioni. AKA, the effect of the drug on the bodyIII. Drug Dose and Dose-Response Functiona. Drug’s actions depend on the amount of drug available which in turn is dependent upon the dose of drug givenb. The usual way of discussing a drug’s effects is in terms of the dose response functioni. Expresses the relationship between the dose administered and the response observedIV. How are dose response functions determined?a. Groups of individuals are administered a different amount of a drug in question and the response is measuredb. Dose Response Cure: graph comparing size of response to amount of drugc. Plateaus at maximum effectd. Therapeutic window – the drug doses in which a therapeutic response is obtainede. One drug can have different dose-response curves depending on the effect being measuredV. General characteristicsa. Threshold dose: minimally effective doseb. Maximal response: greatest degree of a given response that can be achieved with that drugc. ED50 – effective dose for half of the subjects testedd. LD50 – lethal dose for half of the subjects testedi. Death is considered a side effecte. Side effects: unintended effects that accompany therapeutic effectsf. Therapeutic Index: a measure of a drug’s relative safety for use, computed as the ratio of LD50 to ED50i. The greater the ratio, the safer the drug (optimally > 100)ii. Less than 10 is considered very unsafeg. Efficacy & Potencyi. Not all drugs in a given class are equally good at producing the same maximal effect (efficacy)1. Efficacy: how well a drug can produce a given effect ii. Not all drugs produce the maximal effect at the same doses (potency)1. Potency: how much of a drug is needed to produce a given


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Pitt PSY 0505 - Introduction to Drugs and Behavior

Type: Lecture Note
Pages: 18
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