This presentation is part-6 of our Primer on Psychopharmacology and examines the basic characteristics of sensitization and its proposed role in drug addiction. While tolerance to a drug’s rewarding effects would cause it to lose effectiveness and eventually extinguish drug-taking behavior, sensitization to a drug’s rewarding effects could explain the increased motivational strength of the drug which is characteristic of an addiction.
This presentation is part-7 of our Primer on Psychopharmacology and discusses the importance of sensitization in drug addiction with special attention to relapse. It then demonstrates translational research by applying state-of-the-art theory with data from laboratory animals to estimate the period of increased vulnerability for relapse to cocaine addiction in humans.
This presentation is part-8 of our Primer on Psychopharmacology and explores the importance of conditioning effects in psychopharmacology. It opens with a brief overview of the various factors that can modify a drug’s pharmacological effects. These factors are grouped into subject variables which are intrinsic to the organism and environmental variables which are extrinsic to the organism. The presentation is joined in-progress describing a figure which illustrates how a drug’s pharmacological effects are modified by these variables to produce its composite psychopharmacological effects.
Most of the adverse effects associated with overdose from opioid-based medications could easily be prevented or rectified by simply making naloxone (Narcan) more widely available. It seems as if the medical establish is afraid that letting people know that their overdose can be quickly and effectively reversed will give patients a green light to abuse their opioid medication. Undoubtedly it will for some, but for most it should not. And there is no doubt that it would save thousands of lives!
Repeated administration of addictive drugs can result in changes in brain physiology mediating the drug's effects. Tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal reactions are three important distinguishing features often produced by chronic drug administration. This presentation describes these basic neuroadaptive effects and discusses how they are interrelated. Specific examples of physiological dependence and withdrawal reactions from opioids and psychomotor stimulants are discussed. The brief overview of neuroadaptive effects produced by addictive drugs concludes by introducing the concept of sensitization whereby cocaine's effects get stronger (not weaker) across repeated tests with the same drug dosage.
This presentation answers the age-old question of why scientists watch little rats running around in a box -- because sometimes it tells us much more, addressing a fundamentally more interesting and important question. Specifically, this mini-lecture explains the relationship between locomotor activity, brain dopamine levels, and mood and affect in humans. It lays the foundation for understanding the "Psychomotor Stimulant Theory of Addiction."
This podcast presents an informal classroom discussion of why marijuana is unlikely to ever be rescheduled on the list of controlled substances for medicinal use. The material is from a lecture regarding drug regulations set forth by the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The CSA/DEA controlled substance schedules are guided by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) technical assessment of the relative benefits and risks involved with drugs and medical devices. The FDA’s evaluation is considered the definitive opinion regarding whether a substance has proven medicinal value. The excerpt joins the impromptu presentation in progress discussing off-label prescription writing privileges. Please enjoy the discussion in the informal atmosphere in which it was intended. The presentation style is light hearted, but the content is serious and accurate to the best knowledge of the professor. It also contains a lot of information. See the listing for this presentation on our ASNet Podcast Directory for specific learning objectives.
A central theme that I’ve been teaching in my courses on drug addiction for the past 30 years is that “drug addiction is an equally opportunity affliction.” Unfortunately, this is ‘news’ to too many of my advanced undergraduate psychology students. After just a few weeks of examining the diversity of case studies and then provided with a simple model that unifies the many ‘paths to addiction’ to a single common ‘cause,’ students become excited about the ‘recent progress’ in understanding addiction and fully expect that neuroscientists will find ‘the cure’ in short order. That is, now having recognized what really drives addiction, shouldn’t scientists be able to quickly resolve this disorder which extracts such a horrific toll on the individual, on their friends and families, and on society?
Welcome to the Addiction Science Network training series intended for academic and professional listeners seeking advanced training in the scientific study of drug addiction. These presentations provide the foundation for a better understanding drug addiction by systematically building the necessary background and by presenting the fundamental concepts for a comprehensive theory of addiction.