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Psychopharmacology Terminology Test #1
Terms in this set (50)
The continuation of any drug use or compulsive behavior despite adverse consequences; the step before addiction occurs.
The front part of the brain that is involved in executive functions, including planning complex cognitive behaviors, moderating social behavior, determining good and bad, and expressing personality.
Part of the limbic system, or emotional center of the brain, that coordinates the actions of the autonomic and endocrine systems and is involved in regulating basic emotions.
An area of the primitive midbrain in the temporal lobe that is responsible for emotional memories and conversion of short-term memories to long-term ones. It compares sensory input with experience to decide how to react.
Tiny fibers that branch out from nerve cells to receive messages from other nerve cells. Many drugs act on the ends of the dendrites and affect this message transmission.
The remembrance of positive drug experiences that can encourage a user to try it again and again.
Part of the nerve cell that conducts the impulse away from the cell body to the terminals; they can be 40 to 50 centimeters long.
Small buttons at the ends of nerve cells that release neurotransmitters.
Chemicals that are synthesized within the body that transmit messages between nerve cells. The activity of these chemicals is strongly affected by psychoactive drugs.
The microscopic sacs in the terminals of nerve cells that store neurotransmitters until they are released into the synaptic gap.
The process of nerve cell communication through the release of neurotransmitter chemicals that cross the synaptic gap to transmit a message from one nerve cell to another.
Structural protein molecules on the receiving neuron that receive messages from terminals on the sending neuron by way of neurotransmitters that slot into the receptor sites. Also called binding sites.
Any substance that directly alters the normal functioning of the central nervous system when it is injected, ingested, smoked, snorted, or absorbed into the blood.
Any substance- that forces the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, the bodies own stimulants.
Routes of Administration
Inhalation, injection, mucous membrane absorption, oral ingestion, and contact absorption are the five most common ways drugs enter the body.
Any vaporized, misted, or gaseous substance that is inhaled and absorbed through the capillaries in the alveoli of the lungs; smoked drugs are classified differently.
Injecting a drug directly into a vein. It takes 15 to 30 seconds for the drug to reach the brain.
Tightly sealed cells lining the blood vessel walls in the brain; prevents most toxins, bacteria, and pathogens from reaching the brain. Psychoactive drugs breach this barrier.
The body's mechanism for processing, using, inactivating, and eventually eliminating foreign substances, such as food or drugs, from the body.
The increasing ability of the body to metabolize or consume greater and greater amounts of a drug or other foreign substance.
The biological adaptation of body cells and functions due to excessive drug use. Also called physical dependence.
The body's attempt to rebalance itself after prolonged use of a psychoactive drug. The symptoms range from mild (caffeine withdrawal) to severe (heroin withdrawal) to life threatening (benzodiazepine withdrawal). The onset and the duration of symptoms are generally predictable.
PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome)
The persistence of subtle yet significant emotional and psychological problems that can last from three to six months into recovery and can trigger relapse.
Cocaine that can be smoked (as opposed to cocaine hydrochloride, which is snorted or injected).
A feeling of well-being, excitement, extreme satiation, and satisfaction caused by many psychoactive drugs and certain behaviors, such as gambling and sex.
Synthetic opiates (e.g., fentanyl, meperidine, Demerol, methadone and propoxyphene.
A form of viral hepatitis found, in some studies, in 70% to 80% of injection drug users. It is a major cause of liver failure and liver cancer. Four million Americans are infected.
A chronic, localized, pus-filled infection common in injection drug users because of their use of infected needles, repeated attempts to get the needle into a vein, or the irritating effects of the drug on the skin and body tissues.
A drug that initiates an effect when it imitates a neurotransmitter rather than blocks it (e.g., morphine).
An exaggerated effect that occurs when two or more drugs are used at the same time. One reason why this effect occurs is because the liver or body is busy metabolizing one drug while the other slips through unchanged.
Occurs when an individual becomes addicted or tissue-dependent on one drug, resulting in biochemical and cellular changes that support an addiction to other drugs.
blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
The concentration of alcohol in the blood; used legally to identify drunk drivers (e.g., 8 parts alcohol per 10,000 parts blood equals a BAC of 0.08, which is the legal limit in all states). Most countries have a lower legal BAC for drivers.
The act of refraining from the use of alcohol and any other drug. It also refers to stopping addictive behaviors, such as overeating and gambling.
The first stage of drug use wherein the person is curious but uses the drug only sporadically without negative consequences.
recreational drug use
A level of drug use after experimentation; people seek out the drug to experience certain effects, but there is no established pattern of use and it has a relatively small impact on their lives; use is sporadic, infrequent, and unplanned. Also called social drug use.
A level of drug use just before abuse, where the substance (or behavior) is used on a regular, habitual basis but does not yet have regular serious consequences though there is some loss of control of use.
A progressive disease process characterized by loss of control over use, obsession with use, continued use despite adverse consequences, denial that there are problems, and a powerful tendency to relapse.
An inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in mood stability, especially depression, anxiety, sleep control, self-esteem, aggression, and sexual activity.
A major neurotransmitter almost always affected by psychoactive drugs; it acts at the nucleus accumbens in the reward/reinforcement pathway to produce euphoria and a desire to repeat the drug-using activity; it also helps control voluntary muscle movement.
A drug that blocks the normal transmission of messages between nerve cells by blocking the receptor sites that would normally be attached to certain neurotransmitters.
The degree to which a drug becomes available to the target tissue after administration.
The time it takes for a substance to lose half of its pharmacologic or physiologic activity through metabolism and excretion.
Neurotransmitters that resemble opioids. They naturally suppress pain and induce euphoria. Heroin, morphine, and other opioids mimic the effects of endorphins.
A neurotransmitter that prepares the body for physical activity; it affects energy release, appetite, motivation, attention span, heart rate, blood pressure, dilation of bronchi, assertiveness, alertness, and confidence.
gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
This inhibitory neurotransmitter is one of the main neurochemicals in the brain.
The ability of the synapse to change in strength and function when that pathway is overused or underused, often by the intake of drugs or by constant stress. It helps the brain adapt to the toxicity of psychoactive substances.
An effect of hallucinogens that converts one sensory input to another (e.g., colors are heard and sounds are seen).
Drug-caused altered state of consciousness that reinforces dependence on the drug. This is different from tissue dependence. Also called psychic dependence.
Experiencing craving, side effects, and withdrawal symptoms long after being detoxified from a psychoactive drug; usually due to environmental cues that stimulate memories of use. It can also be caused by withdrawal, release of small amounts of the drug from fat storage, or release of accumulated toxic metabolites in the body.
The neurotransmitter that transmits pain from neuron to neuron.
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