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For more information, please see full course syllabus of AP Psychology
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Lecture Comments (2)

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Charles Schallhorn
Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:36 PM

Post by Bart Van Bladel on December 17, 2013

I am enjoying this course very much and like your teaching style, but I have to correct you on this part. LSD does not cause dependence in the way many other drugs do. Physically it is virtually benign. (That does not imply that it is safe however, the psychological damage from a bad trip can be devastating.)

And the story about Woodstock, albeit entertaining, is factually inaccurate. There is no such thing as 'bad LSD' causing bad trips. LSD is LSD. Having a bad experience on it depends on what is commonly called 'set & setting'. Meaning your own mindset, the surroundings, the people who are with you, etc.

States of Consciousness: Drugs

  • Psychoactive drugs are chemical substances that alter perception, mood or behavior—these changes occur via the brain chemistry
  • Experts distinguish between dependence and addiction, with many myths existing regarding addiction
  • Three categories of drugs include central nervous system depressants (alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates), stimulants (nicotine, caffeine, cocaine and amphetamines), and hallucinogens (LSD, PCP and marijuana)
  • People use drugs for a variety of reasons—main categories are biological, psychological, and socio-cultural influences
  • Mouse Party from Univ. of Utah

States of Consciousness: Drugs

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  1. Intro
    • Objectives
    • Drugs
    • Misconceptions About Addiction
    • How Drugs Affect the Brain
    • Categories of Drugs
    • Depressants
    • Sedatives
    • Opiates
    • Stimulants
    • Stimulants -- Cocaine
    • Stimulants -- MDMA
    • Hallucinogens
    • Marijuana
    • Why Do People Use Drugs?
    • Review
    • Intro 0:00
    • Objectives 0:11
      • Identify the Major Psychoactive Drug Categories (e.g. Depressants, Stimulants) and Classify Specific Drugs, Including Their Psychological and Physiological Effects
      • Discuss Drug Dependence, Addiction, Tolerance, and Withdrawal
    • Drugs 0:32
      • Psychoactive Drugs
      • Physical Dependence/Addiction
      • Psychological Dependence -- Drugs That Reduce Stress Become and Increasingly Important Part of a User's Life, Often as a Way to Relieve Negative Emotions (Sometimes Called Self-Medication)
    • Misconceptions About Addiction 3:54
      • Addiction -- Compulsive Drug Craving and Use, Despite Adverse Consequences
      • Myths
    • How Drugs Affect the Brain 6:58
      • Psychoactive Drugs Affect Synapses and Neurotransmitters in Three Ways
      • Tolerance: The Brain Will Produce Less of a Specific Neurotransmitter if it is Being Artificially Supplied by a Psychoactive Drug
    • Categories of Drugs 8:06
      • Depressants
      • Hallucinogens
      • Stimulants
    • Depressants 9:20
      • Alcohol, Barbiturates, Opiates
      • Drugs That Reduce Neural Activity and Slow Body Functioning
      • Includes Alcohol and Sedatives
      • All Depressants Can Cause Dependence, Tolerance, Withdrawal, and Psychological Addiction
    • Sedatives 13:10
      • Drugs That Reduce Anxiety or Induce Sleep
      • Also Called Tranquilizers or Hypnotics
      • Include Barbiturates (Drugs That Depress the Activity of the Central Nervous System, Reducing Anxiety but Impairing Memory and Judgment e.g. Phenobarbital or Seconal) and Benzodiazepines (Anti-Anxiety Drugs)
    • Opiates 14:39
      • Drugs That Depress Neural Activity, Temporarily Lessen Pain and Anxiety
      • Include: Opium, Morphine, Codeine, and Heroin
      • Strong Sedative and Pain-Relieving Drugs
      • Work By Preventing Pain Neurons From Firing or Releasing Pain-Signaling Neurotransmitters Into the Synapse, and Increasing Endorphin Levels
      • Over Time, the Brain Eventually Stops Producing Its Own Endorphins (Endogenous Opioid Peptides)
      • All Opiates Can Cause Dependence, Tolerance, Withdrawal, and Psychological Addiction
    • Stimulants 18:02
      • Drugs That Excite Neural Activity and Speed Up Body Functions
      • Include: Caffeine, Nicotine, Amphetamines, and Cocaine
      • Provides User With a Sense of Increased Energy, Mental Alertness and Forced Wakefulness
      • Blocks Neurological Receptor Sites That, If Activated, Sedate the Central Nervous System
      • All Stimulants Can Cause Dependence, Tolerance, Withdrawal, and Psychological Addiction
      • Methamphetamines = Super Stimulant
    • Stimulants -- Cocaine 20:50
      • Sniffed/Snorted, Injected or Smoked -- Gets Into Bloodstream Quickly
      • Euphoria Created Depletes Brain's Supply of Dopamine, Serotonin, and Norepinephrine
      • Crack is More Potent Version -- Briefer, More Intense High, a Craving for More
      • Cocaine is a Reuptake Inhibitor -- This Means it Blocks Neurotransmitters Already in the Synapse
      • Once Cocaine Level Drops, There is a Crash
    • Stimulants -- MDMA 22:42
      • Ecstasy, Molly -- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine
      • First Used in Northern California in Therapists' Offices
      • Releases Stored Serotonin & Blocks Reabsorption (Reuptake Inhibitor) -- Creates Longer Effect
      • 3-4 Hour Impact
      • Lower Inhibitions, Increases Pleasant Feelings, and Greater Acceptance of Others Increased Light and Tactile Sensitivity
      • Dehydrating Effect (Made Worse by Dancing), Overheating, Increased Blood Pressure, and Even Death
      • Suppresses Immune System, Impairs Memory, and Disrupts Sleep (Part of Serotonin Connection)
      • Long-term Usage Reduces Serotonin's Creation and a Depressed Mood
    • Hallucinogens 27:00
      • LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), PCP, Marijuana (THC)
      • Drugs That Distort Perceptions and Evoke Sensory Images in the Absence of Sensory Input
      • Include: LSD and Ecstasy (MDMA)
      • Sometimes Called Psychedelics
      • LSD Effects Vary From Person to Person
      • Many Have a Near Death Type of Experience -- Related to Oxygen Deprivation
      • Can Cause Physiological Dependence/Tolerance in Some People, But Not Everyone. Can Cause Psychological Dependence
    • Marijuana 29:41
      • Leaves, Stems, Resin, and Flowers From the Hemp Plant That, When Smoked, Lower Inhibitions and Produce Feelings of Relaxation and Mild Euphoria
      • THC (Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the Active Ingredient
      • Disrupts Memory; Lung Damage From Smoke
      • Can Cause Physiological Dependence/Tolerance in Some People, But Not Everyone. Can Cause Psychological Dependence
    • Why Do People Use Drugs? 31:36
      • Biological Influences
      • Psychological Influences
      • Socio-Cultural Influences
    • Review 34:35
      • What Are the Major Categories of Psychoactive Drugs?
      • What Are the Effects of the General Categories of Drugs?
      • If One Looks for Energy, One Will Likely Take…
      • If One Looks to Calm Down…
      • If One Wants to Alter Their Perceptions…
      • Which Drug is a Mood Enhancer as Well as a CNS Depressant?
      • Which One is Similar to Endogenous Opioid Peptides?
      • Distinguish Between Addiction and Dependence