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Psychology of addiction Inhalants and GHB - the date rape drug.

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Presentation on theme: "Psychology of addiction Inhalants and GHB - the date rape drug."— Presentation transcript:

1 Psychology of addiction Inhalants and GHB - the date rape drug

2 Inhalants




6 dichlorotetrafluoroethane carbon tetrachloride C Cl chloroform C Cl H dichlorodifluoromethane bromochloro- difluoromethane methyl chloroform trichloroethylene C Cl F F F F C C H C

7 dichlorotetrafluoroethane Alcohol (Ethanol) trichloroethylene C Cl F F F F C C H C C H H OH H H H C

8 AND nitrous oxide toluene xylene NON

9 What do these various chemicals all have in common? volatile liquids/gases can be sniffed/inhaled/sprayed into mouth aren't anything else!

10 Categories volatile solvents (liquid at room temperature, give off fumes) aerosols (contain solvents/propellants) gases the above are all euphoriants (get you high)

11 Behavioural effects Acute: euphoria, disinhibition, stimulation then lightheadedness, drowsiness (like alcohol) Heavy exposure: slurred speech, ataxia, lethargy, hallucinations, sometimes delusions Very high doses: anaesthaesia, coma

12 Talk to Frank... - Users say it's like being drunk with dizziness, dreaminess and fits of the giggles. And it can be difficult to think straight. - Depending on what's being inhaled, you can hallucinate. This can last for up to 45 minutes. - The hit is quite short so users tend to keep repeating the dose to keep the feeling going. - It can give people a 'hangover' afterwards, giving them severe headaches and leaving them tired. - Depending on the substance, it can leave a red rash around the mouth.


14 i knew this dude who died of the shit, he tried to do a whole can in one hit and had a fucken anurism in his brain or some shit.. i OD like 20 times in total of all the OD's..and i had one last OD...where i was in a dream..the dream was about my time running out..and i was melting..this voice said "come here again,and u will die" i almost did again..and my friend told me "HEY HEY..LOOK AT ME...U ARENT OVERDOSING..ITS ALL IN UR MIND" and i jus snapped outa glad i quit something tells me that dream was real

15 Risks tolerance; withdrawal syndrome? sudden sniffing death syndrome from cardia arrhythmia repeated use damages lungs, kidneys, liver also brain -- subcortical abnormalities damage to myelin sheaths around axons (MRI scans)

16 Talk to Frank... People can experience vomiting and blackouts Theres a risk of fatal heart problems which have been known to kill users the very first time they sniff. Squirting gas products down the throat is a particularly dangerous way of taking the drug. It can make your throat swell so you can't breathe and slows down your heart. You risk suffocation if you inhale from a plastic bag over your head. Sniffing can seriously affect your judgment and when you're high there's a real danger you'll try something reckless.

17 Talk to Frank... Long-term abuse of solvents has been shown to damage the brain, liver and kidneys. It can be hard to get the amount right. Just enough will give the desired high – a little too much can result in coma. Solvent abuse killed 64 people in A quarter of these were people under 18. Using solvents in combination with alcohol can lead to an increased risk of death.

18 Subcortical structural abnormalities in inhalant abusers compared to other abusers

19 in US about 6% of children have tried inhalants by 4th grade, and usage peaks between 7th and 9th grades - for 12 year olds more popular than marijuana! (especially in Alaska!) Solvent misuse isn't illegal. Although, its illegal in England and Wales for shopkeepers to sell you intoxicating substances if they think youre likely to be inhaling them. In Scotland the law is different but the effect is similar. Under Scottish law you can be prosecuted for 'recklessly' selling substances to any age group if you suspect they're going to inhale them. Since October 1999, the law makes it an offence to supply gas lighter refills to anyone under the age of 18. This law applies to the whole of the UK.

20 Why? not much known, because appearance quite recent, and also chemically diverse... but: Reinforcing. Funada et al., 1992 Mice in place conditioning task two chambers, one paired with toluene Prefer toluene side


22 How? rapidly absorbed – fat soluble distributed widely around the brain especially striatum, thalamus, deep cerebellar nuclei

23 PET images of brain uptake and distribution of radiolabeled toluene in a baboon StriatumDeep cerebellar nuclei

24 Why? Neural effects enhance GABA & glycine inhibitory receptors inhibit excitatory NMDA glutamate receptors similar to alcohol - reduce CNS excitability why reinforcing? Toluene activates dopamine neurons in ventrotegmental area… dopamine to do with reinforcement

25 GHB - the date rape drug gamma hydroxybutyrate


27 Uses "club drug" -- used like E's and ketamine notoriety for use as "date rape" drug used clinically to treat cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle control experienced by narcoleptics)

28 Several drugs are used in date rape, not only GHB: e.g. ketamine (see hallucinogen lecture) and rohypnol (a benzodiazepine) In the US special beermats can detect GHB and ketamine

29 Behavioural effects and risks Low doses: mild euphoria, disinhibition, relaxation Higher doses: slurred speech, ataxia, lethargy, dizziness, nausea, vomiting Overdosing: respiratory depression, lack of consciousness, seizures

30 Risks Tolerance: Evidence Informal reports from users suggest that they may increase dose – sometimes every 2-4 hours all day and night Withdrawal symptoms reported as insomnia, anxiety and tremors, and at high doses even hallucinations, delirium, extreme agitation and psychosis

31 Tolerance to the locomotor-suppressant effects of GHB in mice

32 History closely related to GABA; were looking for a GABA analogue to use as a CNS depressant initially sold commercially in US health food shops as nutritional supplement for body builders – supposed to reduce fat and increase muscle "cherry meth", "Georgia home boy", "liquid X then reported adverse effects resulted in a ban still can be bought, or made at home with a kit from 1,4-butanediol and -butyrolactone (GBL)

33 Additional ghb recipe info here... ghb recipe, building muscle mass ghb recipe and steroids in baseball ghb suppliers, deca bolin ghb suppliers and steroids side effects If you can read a Delia Smith recipe you can make GHB eLibrary Preview: 'If you can read a Delia Smith recipe you can make GHB'... Access this article and keep searching in premium sources like Time, Fortune, Archive Photos and more. Free 7-day trial subscription required for full access. GHB RECIPE #1 - Simple Liquid GHB Safety Notice: Wear gloves, safety glasses and old clothes at all times. If any of these chemicals touch the skin, immediately wash well with ample amounts of cold water.

34 15.4 Chemical structures of GABA, GHB, 1,4- butanediol, and GBL


36 Behavioural effects in lab animals lower doses: sedation, reduced locomotor activity, decreased anxiety in e.g. elevated plus maze higher doses: catalepsy and paradoxical CNS excitation - maybe like petit mal seizures in humans? in humans who overdose sometimes have mild seizures - i.e. lose consciousness and cease activity, but no convulsions

37 Why? Reinforcing?? Funada et al., 1992 place conditioning task in rats and mice -- yes intravenous self-administration in monkeys -- not really: although some sedated themselves sedation unpleasant? if too drowsy can't get more??

38 How? Neural effects Hypothesis 1 GHB acts on GABA B receptors maybe GHB has weak affinity for pre/post synaptic GABA B receptors maybe GHB is metabolised into GABA (except that GHB has only poor affinity for GABA A receptors, so not equivalent to GABA in its effects..)

39 How? Neural effects Evidence Effects of GHB counteracted by GABA B antagonists rats had to press lever A when they had GHB, lever B when they had saline then give dose of GABA B antagonist on top

40 15.6 Dose-dependent blockade of discriminative stimulus properties of GHB by CGP 35348

41 How? Neural effects Hypothesis 2 there is a specific GHB receptor Evidence - there are selective GHB binding sites in the brain nonuniformly distributed (e.g. in hippocampus and cerebral cortex) GHB analogue called NCS-382 binds to GHB sites and is selective antagonist at this receptor

42 How? Neural effects Evidence - GHB synthesised in the brain from GABA - has own uptake mechanisms - released in Ca 2+ dependent manner - own receptor system

43 How? Neural effects Hypothesis 2 BUT endogenous levels of GHB not behaviourally effective so taking it acts via a different mechanism? not all effects of GHB blocked by GHB receptor antagonist NCS- 382 but at high doses NCS-382 acts like agonist - so who knows!!

44 Next time... anabolic steroids Psychopharmacology: Drugs, the brain and behaviour Meyer & Quenzer Chapter 15 Lectures may be found here:

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