Students will learn: –How drugs interact with the brain and nervous system receptors –The different types of drugs most commonly used and how they affect behavior –Drug tolerance and addiction
How Drugs Work In The Brain 1. Mimic neurotransmitters 2. Increase or decrease the amount of neurotransmitter released 3. Block receptors 4. Prevent the reuptake of neurotransmitter A given drug may act in one of the following ways:
Prescription Drugs Affect Behavior Drugs affect behavior by altering one or more neurotransmitter systems. They are one way to treat mental health disorders, like depression.
When to Prescribe Drugs The decision to prescribe behavior modifying drugs, like antidepressants, is based on: 1.How severe the person’s disorder is 2. The person’s history of illness, and 3. The person’s age Many times, psychological therapy (counseling) is prescribed along with medication.
Antidepressants to Relieve Depression: Antidepressants help relieve the symptoms of depression by restoring the brain’s chemical balance. Antidepressants help reduce specific symptoms associated with depression, like: extreme sadness hopelessness lack of interest in life
Antidepressants Alter Balance of Specific Neurotransmitters: Work by altering the balance of the specific neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood. The neurotransmitters that affect mood are: serotonin, dopamine, & norepinephrine
Serotonin Affects Behavior Regulates the following functions: –Mood –Appetite –Sleep –Muscle contraction –Some cognitive functions including memory and learning
Psychological vs. Physiological Addiction: Psychological: Drug is taken because you “feel good” Physiological: Drug is taken because body and brain need/crave it Most addictions begin psychologically and evolve into physical dependence and addiction.
Drug Tolerance is: Decreased susceptibility to the effects of a drug due to its continued use. The amount of drug must be increased to reach the desired effect Can happen with any drug Tolerance depends on the individual and the drug Tolerance and addiction develop together
Nicotine Addiction is a Serious Problem Nicotine is the addictive and toxic substance found in tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, snuff, dip, and chewing tobacco 70.9 million Americans use tobacco products, about 46 million adults smoke Smoking is the fastest way to get nicotine into the brain and cause its addicting affects
Nicotine’s Effects First, stimulates the adrenal gland causing a release of adrenaline –Increased heart rate –Increased breathing –Increased blood pressure Second, stimulates nicotinic receptors in the brain –Release dopamine in the reward centers, makes you feel good –Body then craves nicotine to support continued dopamine release Nicotine is directly linked to cause cancer, heart disease and emphysema.
Is a Nicotine Vaccine Possible? When nicotine enters the body, it Quickly spreads to all areas of the body, including the BRAIN. It is in the brain that the nicotine creates the reward sensations, thus making the tobacco user addicted. The vaccines being tested are meant to stop the nicotine from traveling through out the body to include the brain, thus creating NO REWARD response!!! With No Reward Response, tobacco users should lose interest in using the tobacco products!!!
Alcohol: Serious Health Affects Absorbed into the blood stream through the GI tract Alcohol in the blood then travels to the brain and effects the nerve cells Slows communication between the nerve cells which depresses the central nervous system
Alcohol and Your Ability to Think: As a person becomes intoxicated the mental and physical effects of alcohol become more pronounced Blood alcohol levels can get so high that it depresses (stops) the parts of the brain which control breathing (autonomic nervous system) and can cause death! This picture shows a normal brain solving problems on a test. This pictures shows a brain affected by alcohol trying to solve the same problems. Notice the decreased activity!
Ritalin, a Prescription Drug Being Abused ADD ADHDUsed for treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy Acts on the central nervous system as a stimulant by increasing dopamine levels
Ritalin is Effective for Patients that Need it! calming ADDADHDHas a calming and focusing effect on people with ADD and ADHD Works like caffeine but it is more powerful abused do not ADDADHDBut because it is a stimulant it is abused by people who do not have ADD or ADHD
Stimulant Abuse Some college students take Ritalin or Adderall because they think it will help them perform better on tests Both drugs are addictive and can cause a racing heart, confusion, disorientation and even psychotic behavior! It is more useful to learn how to be a better student! Go To: http://thankyoubrain.comhttp://thankyoubrain.com
Additional Addictive and Harmful Drugs: Sedatives or Barbiturates - Depresses Central Nervous System, used in sleep aids – VERY ADDICTIVE Opiates/Heroin – Used in painkillers, over use stops brains natural painkillers (endorphins) causes body and brain to become dependent on outside source – VERY ADDICTIVE Marijuana - Inability to concentrate, increased anxiety, nausea, and possible link between long-term marijuana use and schizophrenia. Leads to increased drug use. Cocaine – Causes the following damage, heart problems, including heart attacks, respiratory failure, nervous system problems, including strokes and Digestive problems. VERY ADDICTIVE
Learn how drugs alter the brain’s reward pathway with the Mouse Party Game http://learn.genetic s.utah.edu/content /addiction/drugs/m ouse.html Another look at a drug addicted brain Click on the link below:
Conclusion All drugs that act on feelings and behavior change the function of nerve cells. Some of these changes may become permanent with continued drug use. Drugs are taken to alleviate sickness Ask yourself this: What is the sickness you take mind- altering drugs for?