psychpost | 7/04/2012 04:04:00 PM
|Marijuana, Cannabis, Pot, Weed, etc. Most commonly consumed illegal drug. Photo source.|
Yesterday I began my summer Psychology course about Drugs and Behavior. I'm looking forward to writing several posts about specific drugs, how they work in the brain and body, behaviors associated with drug use, and addiction. This post will be a rough and basic outline on what is known as Psychopharmacology.
A very important question to answer before going further is: "What is a drug?" There are several different definitions on what a drug is and here are two of them:
1.Any substance, when absorbed in the body, alters normal bodily functions.
2.Any substance used "primarily to bring about a change in some existing process or state" be it psychological, physiological, or biochemical.
In the study of Drugs and Behavior the focus is on Psychoactive Drugs, drugs which affect brain function. It is important to note that drugs are only able to act upon preexisting systems and structures found in our bodies.
Here is a list of several classes of Psychoactive Drugs which I will be writing about in detail:
1. Opiates (Narcotics): Morphine, Heroine, Codene, etc.
2. Depressants: Which include Barbiturates and Benzodiazepines.
3. Stimulants: Cocaine, Amphetamine, Nicotine, Caffeine, etc.
4. Hallucinogens: LSD, Psilocin/Psilocybin
5. Dissociative Anesthetics: PCP, Ketamine
6. Cannabinoids: Cannabis
7. Designer Drugs: MDMA
Psychopharmacology: The study of changes in mood, thinking, and behavior caused by using drugs.