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Psychoactive Affect of Drugs

Psychopharmacology is the study of drugs and how they affect behaviour. If you break down the word, it tells you exactly what it means.... "psycho-?like psychology, or the study of behaviour, "pharm?is how the drug works in the body and brain, and ?ology?means to study. So pharmacology is the study of drugs, and psychopharmacology is the study of how these drugs will affect the behavioural processes of humans.

The main purpose of study in this area is to find drugs that will help alleviate the symptoms of psychological disorders like schizophrenia or depression. An important aspect of this research is that the drugs have a psychoactive effect based on how they work in the brain and it is the alteration of brain dysfunction that will help alleviate symptoms of disorders. An example might be Haldol (haloperidol) for schizophrenia which works on the dopamine system or Valium (diazepam) for anxiety which works on GABA receptors, although drugs are used to help with almost every disorder.

What kind of psychoactive affect would these drugs have on a brain that has such dysfunction? Are these drugs administered with therapeutic intervention as well, or would it just be given and monitored?

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Let's take a closer look at these interesting questions.

RESPONSE:

1. What kind of psychoactive affect would these drugs have on a brain that has such dysfunction?

These drugs, when taken in the suggested doses, control the disorder's symptoms, such as the symptoms associated with anxiety or schizophrenia. The administration of these drugs is left up to the patient, unless in a hospital or institution, who then have medical staff administer the drugs to the patients. So, when taken in the rpescribed amount the effects on the brain are for controlling the symptoms. Drugs are tested for controlling certain symptoms, and thne prescribed when the patient is experiencing these symptoms, which will then affect the brain in the way the drug does e.g. control anxiety symptoms.

However, some pharmaceutical drugs have a high abuse potential, such as Valium and Haldol. For these drugs, when taken over the prescribed amount and often in high doses, these drugs also have psychoactive effects that go beyond controlling the symptoms, like causing euphoria and other psychoactive effects. It is these effects that some people who get addicted to the drug seek out. And, as tolerance to the drug increases, it takes more and more of the drug to get the same effects. This leads to continued abuse, seeking the high that the person had at the beginning of use, which often cannot be replaced. It can lead to an overdose and sometimes, death.

Every drug has different psychoactive effects, some have low abuse potential, meaning that they control symptoms, but do not create other psychoactive effects, like methadone, which few people abuse. However, other drugs like diazapam (Valium) and others with high abuse potential, when taken in higher than prescribed does have other ...

Solution Summary

Referring to such drugs as Haldol (haloperidol) for schizophrenia which works on the dopamine system or Valium (diazepam) for anxiety which works on GABA receptors, this solution examines the kind of psychoactive affect that these drugs would have on a brain that has such dysfunction. It also discusses if these drugs are administered with therapeutic intervention, or just be given and monitored.

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