<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Historically, heroin has been a major opioid drug of abuse ( [link] ). Heroin can be snorted, smoked, or injected intravenously. Like the stimulants described earlier, the use of heroin is associated with an initial feeling of euphoria followed by periods of agitation. Because heroin is often administered via intravenous injection, users often bear needle track marks on their arms and, like all abusers of intravenous drugs, have an increased risk for contraction of both tuberculosis and HIV.

Photograph A shows various paraphernalia spread out on a black surface.  The items include a tourniquet, three syringes of varying widths, three cotton-balls, a tiny cooking vessel, a condom, a capsule of sterile water, and an alcohol swab. Photograph B shows a hand holding a spoon containing heroin tar above a small candle.
(a) Common paraphernalia for heroin preparation and use are shown here in a needle exchange kit. (b) Heroin is cooked on a spoon over a candle. (credit a: modification of work by Todd Huffman)

Aside from their utility as analgesic drugs, opioid-like compounds are often found in cough suppressants, anti-nausea, and anti-diarrhea medications. Given that withdrawal from a drug often involves an experience opposite to the effect of the drug, it should be no surprise that opioid withdrawal resembles a severe case of the flu. While opioid withdrawal can be extremely unpleasant, it is not life-threatening (Julien, 2005). Still, people experiencing opioid withdrawal may be given methadone to make withdrawal from the drug less difficult. Methadone is a synthetic opioid that is less euphorigenic than heroin and similar drugs. Methadone clinics help people who previously struggled with opioid addiction manage withdrawal symptoms through the use of methadone. Other drugs, including the opioid buprenorphine, have also been used to alleviate symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

Codeine is an opioid with relatively low potency. It is often prescribed for minor pain, and it is available over-the-counter in some other countries. Like all opioids, codeine does have abuse potential. In fact, abuse of prescription opioid medications is becoming a major concern worldwide (Aquina, Marques-Baptista, Bridgeman,&Merlin, 2009; Casati, Sedefov,&Pfeiffer-Gerschel, 2012).

Hallucinogens

A hallucinogen    is one of a class of drugs that results in profound alterations in sensory and perceptual experiences ( [link] ). In some cases, users experience vivid visual hallucinations. It is also common for these types of drugs to cause hallucinations of body sensations (e.g., feeling as if you are a giant) and a skewed perception of the passage of time.

An illustration shows a colorful spiral pattern.
Psychedelic images like this are often associated with hallucinogenic compounds. (credit: modification of work by "new 1lluminati"/Flickr)

As a group, hallucinogens are incredibly varied in terms of the neurotransmitter systems they affect. Mescaline and LSD are serotonin agonists, and PCP (angel dust) and ketamine (an animal anesthetic) act as antagonists of the NMDA glutamate receptor. In general, these drugs are not thought to possess the same sort of abuse potential as other classes of drugs discussed in this section.

Medical marijuana

While the possession and use of marijuana is illegal in most states, it is now legal in Washington and Colorado to possess limited quantities of marijuana for recreational use ( [link] ). In contrast, medical marijuana use is now legal in nearly half of the United States and in the District of Columbia. Medical marijuana is marijuana that is prescribed by a doctor for the treatment of a health condition. For example, people who undergo chemotherapy will often be prescribed marijuana to stimulate their appetites and prevent excessive weight loss resulting from the side effects of chemotherapy treatment. Marijuana may also have some promise in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions (Mather, Rauwendaal, Moxham-Hall,&Wodak, 2013; Robson, 2014; Schicho&Storr, 2014).

A photograph shows a window with a neon sign. The sign includes the word “medical” above the shape of a marijuana leaf.
Medical marijuana shops are becoming more and more common in the United States. (credit: Laurie Avocado)

While medical marijuana laws have been passed on a state-by-state basis, federal laws still classify this as an illicit substance, making conducting research on the potentially beneficial medicinal uses of marijuana problematic. There is quite a bit of controversy within the scientific community as to the extent to which marijuana might have medicinal benefits due to a lack of large-scale, controlled research (Bostwick, 2012). As a result, many scientists have urged the federal government to allow for relaxation of current marijuana laws and classifications in order to facilitate a more widespread study of the drug’s effects (Aggarwal et al., 2009; Bostwick, 2012; Kogan&Mechoulam, 2007).

Until recently, the United States Department of Justice routinely arrested people involved and seized marijuana used in medicinal settings. In the latter part of 2013, however, the United States Department of Justice issued statements indicating that they would not continue to challenge state medical marijuana laws. This shift in policy may be in response to the scientific community’s recommendations and/or reflect changing public opinion regarding marijuana.

Summary

Substance use disorder is defined in DSM-5 as a compulsive pattern of drug use despite negative consequences. Both physical and psychological dependence are important parts of this disorder. Alcohol, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that affect GABA neurotransmission. Cocaine, amphetamine, cathinones, and MDMA are all central nervous stimulants that agonize dopamine neurotransmission, while nicotine and caffeine affect acetylcholine and adenosine, respectively. Opiate drugs serve as powerful analgesics through their effects on the endogenous opioid neurotransmitter system, and hallucinogenic drugs cause pronounced changes in sensory and perceptual experiences. The hallucinogens are variable with regards to the specific neurotransmitter systems they affect.

Personal application question

Many people experiment with some sort of psychoactive substance at some point in their lives. Why do you think people are motivated to use substances that alter consciousness?

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Questions & Answers

Describe frontal lobe syndrome
Bridget Reply
Frontal lobe syndrome is an impairment of the frontal lobe that occurs due to disease or head trauma. 
Zafar
what does the bell curve represent in intelligence testing?
Sounny Reply
average
Angela
I'M A VERY CURIOUS PERSON WHO LOVES TO LEARN ABOUT DIFFERENT TYPES
Sheri Reply
I AM A PERSON WHO IS NOT CHOOSING TO LET MY MENTAL HEALTH AFFECT ME AND I AM AN
Sheri
different types means.?😂😂
rilek
Indeed....different types means what exactly and how does these different types transpire into our lives? there are many different ways of allowing ourselves to accommodate and continiously play out the fact we have mental illnesses!!!
Elizabeth
social learning theory
CONFERENCE Reply
how we know the people are telling lie
Vasu
human brain
SERAJ
if you want to learn how to detect the lie you have to observe their behaviour...
Aayan
that's common things..
MOHD
anything specially, tht we can say either person is telling yes or no..?
MOHD
Yes
rochell
I believe there are many factors that play into being a human lie detector.
Tasha
all of which is governed by the human brain.
Tasha
There's no accurate method of telling someone is lying unless we know the truth ourselves. Some people, especially people with manipulative tendencies, will make a lie as believable as possible. Behaviors could tell the person is hiding something or may be feeling uncomfortable while being observed.
agii
Ex. Talking too fast while explaining a story might indicate that the person is indeed hiding something. Other than that, people, usually with histrionic personality disorder, also tend to exaggerate stories.
agii
DORFRLYN It's not easier to feel lied at first moment of talking to someone you know or you don't know. The person will be guilty of what they tell in the first sentence.They first find a way to hide the the truth. By so doing, the movement, and the head knock, this symbloyz the shift of origin
dorfrlyn
for one to tell lies, should first read the mind of the listener.
dorfrlyn
I agree with you Agil.Usually a person talks too fast,is hiding something true. But also talking too slow will mean creation of new story rather than the truth.
dorfrlyn
some people have the habit of speaking too fast, so in that case how can we identify whether the person is lying or not?
Labdhee
pay attention on facial expressions
El
When people talk too fast to the point that it's incomprehensible, it could mean that that person is trying to have you move one from one topic to another to prevent you from asking questions.
agii
observe micro expressions
Zafar
thanks to all for giving ans😃
Vasu
Any recommendations for apps related to positive psychology?
Andrew Reply
intresting I mean
Asfand
Sometimes if you type "positive psychology " in your play store, you'll get some good ones
Tahmetrea
I use Awakenings by Iyanla Vanzant... She have a positive outlook on life. She's awesome!
Tahmetrea
Thank you, I will check that out.
Andrew
CBT types?
Rachael
psychology FACTS
katy
ITS SUPER EASY TO USE ... and divides the kind of positive psychology your looking for into groups! check it out.
katy
mental association books?
Maya
CBT works, and I am also looking for a psych book to read... I like psychology facts
Andrew
anyone know about any bipolar advocate groups or support type groups where a person can talk n vent while remaining anonymous?
tonya
HI I'M SHERI AND IN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION ABOUT THE BIPOLAR SUPPORT GROUPS I LIVE IN SACRAMENTO CALIFORNIA AND I DO KNOW THAT THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT GROUPS 1) WELLNESS RECOVERY PROGRAMS AND I KNOW OF 2 LOCATIONS ONE ON MARCONI IN NORTH SACRAMENTO AND ON BOWLING OFF FLORIN IN SOUTH SACRAMENTO
Sheri
what's the most common cause of suicide in adolescents
Aisha Reply
depression
Irfan
yes. it's depression.
Paul
Especially when adolescents go through identity issues. Not knowing if this boy wants to be a girl or vice or versa. Social awkwardness, depression and cruelty of other adolescents in my opinion, brings a lot of suicidal tendencies into the minds of them.
Tahmetrea
reasons that lead to depression caused by many reasons like rape, abusive parents or guardians, bullying and more causes for a person to suicide
Diana
not accepting the fact or situation or the reality. the adolescents can't face rejections, as soon as they are rejected , they commit suicide.
Labdhee
social pressures have a huge impact on this. I find that young people are more likely to take their own life because they feel they are not able to fit in to a particular group of society and feel they are criticised by others. environment and nature/nurture. identity is a huge factor.
Jody
I think a major problem is when someone feels they can't handle the situation or think it's out of the control even though there are a lot of ways to solve it, one of them being at least trying to tell someone, visit a psychologist. They might stop feeling alone/misunderstood by everyone else.
Thuy
well, I've a problem. I feel very conscious when I'm in a crowd. when I'm partying with friends, I feels like everyone is looking at me. when I look at them, each one of them have their eyes on me. I don't know how I should deal with this? can someone help me with that ?
puneet
Hey Puneet! I think it's the matter of time and getting comfortable in that kind of situation after you try to get out of your comfort zone and slowly get used to it. I used to have that problem too but then I acted to not give a 💩 and tried my best to pretend I didn't care at all. And it worked!
Thuy
*Fake it till you make it* in this case worked for me the best. Maybe you could try to start talking to one of the more open/friendly people in that group so you don't get that self-conscious. I'm sure they don't think they will judge you at all! Just do it!
Thuy
Bullying that leads to anxiety, shame and depression, sadly.
Rachael
Where do I go to find research or tips for integrating sex and mental heath?
Felicia Reply
integrating a sexual routine and a mental illness that has kept o e from intimacy for a prolonged time? can u be a Lil more specific
lindsay
I have experience with both
lindsay
y only these two.?
MOHD
yes
Abu
y only these two sex and mental
MOHD
knowledge some practice practical
Abu
so ur mentally in balanced with sex..cause you find a good satisfy partner.....
MOHD
u can explain
Abu
u can't find good sex partner....
MOHD
no
Abu
I m not understand your consepet
Abu
depends on your Lonely no family no friends
MOHD
ok
Abu
chill,u time to Understand these concepts..
MOHD
ok
Abu
u can explain in urdu
Abu
hi
Wendy
hi
Abu
please can you help me identify and explain atleast seven(7) reflexes of the new born.
Wendy
yes of course
Abu
kk, then i need your help please.
Wendy
what's going on?
Mohammad
@lindsay I want to show how sexuality and mental health correlate. How one affects the other.
Felicia
I can help on these subjects
Abiral
@Abiral what information do you have?
Felicia
Hello
Irfan
Spending quiet time alone, with nature can improve mental health. Offer your opinions?
tsav Reply
mmmm but me i cn not spend time alone
Gift
Different strokes for different folks 🤷🏽‍♂️
tsav
what do u mean
Gift
Some people prefer a quiet life to a busy, bright city life. Some lead very stressful lives. Those people often don't pay attention to how they feel apart from the obvious fact that they're tired and stressed
tsav
nature can be clarifying and soothing because it can be a mixture of just natural beauty and why else are nature sounds an option for white noise
Twisted
You're absolutely right
tsav
what is with human being brain that we don't know?
imran Reply
I guess there are lots of things we don't know, but perhaps your referring to that thing called Consciousness
GoldenWizard
Anything that happens, question it!
tsav
in addition we may ask the doctor's
Gift
the science of many feelings and emotions can be hard to describe. our brains light up at some things but we can't always understand why
Twisted
But yet we must persist
tsav
Using relevant examples discuss challenges encounter by the beginning teachers during the learning and teaching process
LEILA Reply
how do I know when someone is using psychology on me?
Danielle Reply
If yes, it would always bring a solution.
Professor
Psychology cannot be used *on* something. You can use your *knowledge* of psychology to help tackle a situation. But I think I know what you're asking: pay attention to someone when you're talking, if they are looking at you up and down, they're analysing you
tsav
reasons for studying psychology in schools
ibraa Reply
PERSONALLY I'M A PERSON WHO LOVES TO LEARN READ AND WRITE AND RESEARCH ON DIFFERENT TYPES OF THINGS THAT HAVE TO DO WITH MY OWN EXPERIENCES WITH ADDICTION BORN WITH ORGANIC BRAIN DISEASE AND DAMAGE ENDURED EVERY FORM OF ABUSE THERE IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PTSD EDD (EMOTIONALLY DEVELOPMENTALLY DELAYED)
Sheri
I'M MILDLY MENTALLY CHALLENGED CAME OUT OF SEVERELY DYSFUNCTIONAL HOME MARRIAGE AND RELATIONSHIPS
Sheri
In my opinion, psyche meaning soul, makes me believe time should be taken to contemplate the history and root of the word. I believe psychology IS the study of the soul. The soul envelops human beings, carrying the body and the brain with it. In a sense, the Soul, is what we observe in people.
Kurt Reply
On point!
tsav
what type of this person who shake hand loosely
Afaq Reply
how we know a selfish person
Afaq
how we know a selfish person
Afaq
Insecure. Socially anxious or awkward, without self-confidence to interact as themselves, may seem arrogant, self-absorbed, rude or disinterested..... Narcissistic personality disorder?
Emma
lack of confidence and not having trust
Mehwish
how many types of intelligence
Ranjita
I couldn't understand the psychology
Yasir
which theory is given by wax wertheimer
Tripti Reply
the Gestalt theory
chindu
what did she say ?
Mehdi

Get the best Psychology course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Psychology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask