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Types of addictive substances
- Depressants: Alcohol, Barbiturates (e.g., Seconal), Benzodiazepines (e.g., Valium, Halcion)
- Stimulants: Amphetamines, Cocaine, Nicotine, Caffeine
- Narcotics: Reduce pain and cause euphoria. Opium and its derivatives (e.g., Heroin, Codeine, Morphine)
Cannabis and Hallucinigens: LSD, Mushrooms, Cannabis (Marijuana)
Design model of dependence
Psychological dependence, and physical dependence. Tolerance in which the body adjusts to the drug so that over time it requires more and more of the drug in order to achieve the same effect as before, and withdrawal, in which severe, unpleasant bodily reactions occur if use of the drug is suddenly curtailed.
Amount drunk: Obviously, how much one drinks is fundamental to intoxication. Contrary to popular myths, all forms of alcohol (beer, wine, liquor) are equally intoxicating. Although hard liquor contains a higher percentage of alcohol, beverages with higher levels of alcohol are usually smaller and/or diluted. Therefore, as a general rule of thumb it is reasonable to think of how much alcohol a person consumes by how many drinks he or she has (a can of beer has about as much alcohol as a glass of wine or a typical mixed drink). For a normal 150-pound male drinking on an empty stomach, each drink he consumes within an hour will raise his blood alcohol level about .03%.
- Time elapsed: The liver is the primary organ the body relies on to remove alcohol (which is why alcoholism leads to liver damage). The liver metabolizes alcohol at a relatively constant rate. Therefore, if someone drinks faster than the liver can remove the alcohol, the blood alcohol level continues to rise.
- Body size: Intoxication is a function of blood alcohol level. Because larger persons have more blood, they can generally drink more than smaller persons to achieve the same level of intoxication.
- Food in the stomach: Alcohol readily absorbs into the blood stream. However, food in the stomach slows this process down. Drinking on an empty stomach results in faster intoxication.
Alcohol Dependence and Problem Drinking
- Binge drinking: Periods of time when drinking is very excessive.
- Blackouts: Not being able to remember what happened during a period of intoxication.
- Excessive focus on alcohol: Planning one's drinking for the day, hiding a liquor supply.
- Denial: Many of those with dependence flatly deny the impact of alcohol in their lives, even though it is evident to family and friends.
- Family conflict: Drinking interferes with family functioning; while drunk, the drinker may become abusive.
- Failures at work: May actively drink on the job, or hangovers may interfere with job performance the next day.
Fetal alcohol syndrome
Characterized by low birth weight, lowered intelligence, clumsiness, and facial deformities. Caused by mother drinking during pregnancy.
Center of psychoactive drug activation in the brain. Also known as the pleasure pathway.
Tension Reduction Model
Postulates that alcohol (or other substances) reduces tension and stress, thereby reinforcing the drinking behavior. Those under high stress or who experience the greatest reduction are at greatest risk for developing alcoholism.
Opponent process model
Proposes that abused substances have two processes which are in opposition to one another. The primary reaction is a pleasurable one that is quick acting but short lived. The secondary reaction is a homeostatic one which works to dampen the effects of the primary reaction; it is slower acting and longer lasting, and if experienced alone would be unpleasant. The two reactions sum together to create one's affective state, but because of the different timing the initial effect is pleasurable, whereas the residual effect is unpleasurable. The tendency, then, is to reuse the drug to remove the discomfort.
AA's approach involves group support meetings, clear admission of one's alcoholism and accepting belief that one is forevermore an alcoholic (even if no longer drinking), examination of alcohol's effect on life, and reliance on a "higher power." Its social and spiritual components appeal to some but not all
In this approach, drinking (or drug use) is associated with a noxious experience (like electrical shock or nausea) in an effort to counteract the usual feeling of well-being, relaxation, or euphoria associated with substance use.
A drug, which while in the body will cause violent nausea and vomiting if the person ingests alcohol.
A synthetic narcotic which is less damaging to the body than heroin and meets the addict's craving. Government-sponsored programs provide the substitute drug to addicts. This approach does not eliminate the addiction, but does seem to lessen the illegal behavior, overdosing, etc. associated with heroin use.
Chemical substance that effectively increases the activity of a NT by imitating its effects.
Alcohol amnestic disorder (Korsakoff's psychosis) and Alcohol withdrawal delirium (delirium tremens)
AWD: Set of symptems including body tremors and frightening hallucinations that may result during withdrawal from extended alcohol use
KP: Amnestic disorder caused by damage to the thalamus resulting from heavy alcohol use.
Amphetamine use disorders
Psychological, biological, behavioral and social problems associated with amphetemine use and abuse.
Sedative drugs (ie amytal, seconal and nembutal) that are used as sleep aids. Highly addictive.
Jellinek's four stages of alcoholism progression
Prealcoholic stage: Drinking occasionally with few serious consequences
Prodromal stage: Drinking heavily but with few outward signs of a problem
Crucial stage: Loss of control with occasional binges
Chronic stage: Primary daily activities involve getting and drinking alcohol
Organic brain syndrome resulting from prolonged heavy alcohol use, involving confusion, unintelligible speech and loss of motor coordination.