Understanding Drugs and Behaviour
July 2004, ©2004
Understanding Drugs and Behaviour describes in detail how the main psychoactive drugs can alter brain chemistry and modify behaviour. Basic drug effects tolerance and addiction, are discussed, together with diverse medical, social, and psychological reasons for drug taking.Written by experienced lecturers with a high level of research expertise, all the main drugs used in today's society are included, such as alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, LSD and Ecstacy, opiates, CNS stimulants, as well as clinical medications.
Teaching and learning features include:
- Chapter overviews
- In-depth core material
- End of chapter questions
- Key references
- Extensive glossary
- Journals and websites of interest
This introductory text will be of use to students of psychology, behavioural sciences, health sciences, nursing, physiology and pharmacology.
About the authors ix
Part I Drugs and Their Actions 1
1 Psychoactive drugs: introduction and overview 3
2 The brain, neurons and neurotransmission 9
3 Principles of drug action 25
Part II Non-medical Use of Psychoactive Drugs 39
4 CNS stimulants: amphetamine, cocaine and caffeine 41
5 Nicotine and cigarette smoking 55
6 LSD and Ecstasy/MDMA 71
7 Cannabis 85
8 Heroin and opiates 103
9 CNS depressants: alcohol, barbiturates and benzodiazepines 119
10 Alcoholism and drug dependence 133
Part III Clinical and Medicinal Use of Drugs 151
11 Antipsychotics for schizophrenia 153
12 Antidepressants and mood stabilisers 171
13 Nootropics for Alzheimer’s disease 187
14 Cognitive enhancers 203
Part IV Final Overview 219
15 Current knowledge and future possibilities 221
Key psychopharmacology and addiction journals 251
Internet sources of information about psychoactive drugs 253
Alun Morinan graduated in Biochemistry from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth and went on to complete an MSc in Pharmacology at the University of London and a PhD in Neuropharmacology at the National University of Ireland in Galway. After postdoctoral research in Pharmacology at Galway and Biochemistry at the Institute of Psychiatry, he was appointed Lecturer in Pharmacology at North East Surrey College of Technology before moving to his current post of Principal Lecturer at the University of East London. His publications have been mainly in the fields of experimental psychopharmacology and neurochemistry covering topics such as alcohol dependence, anxiety, schizophrenia and enzymology.
Mark Moss studied applied chemistry and spent 10 years in industry before returning to university to study Psychology. He completed his PhD in 1999 and was involved in the establishment of the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit at Northumbria University. His research portfolio has focused primarily on aspects of cognitive functioning in healthy young volunteers, with journal articles and conference presentations relating to both enhancement through natural interventions and drug-induced impairments. Mark is currently programme leader for the Division of Psychology at Northumbria University.
Andrew choley is a Reader in Psychology at the Division of Psychology, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He has published hundreds of journal articles and conference papers, covering the cognitive effects of many recreational and medicinal drugs. His PhD and postdoctoral fellowship at the Brain and Behaviour Research Group, Open University, examined the neurochemical substrates of memory formation. He moved to Northumbria University in 1993, where his research has concentrated on the acute and chronic impairing and enhancing effects of various drugs including benzodiazepines, alcohol, caffeine, glucose, oxygen (with Mark Moss) and herbal extracts. In 1999 Andrew established the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, of which he is the director. The work of this unit concentrates on the potential for nonmainstream treatments to enhance cognitive performance. These have ranged from metabolic interventions (notably glucose and oxygen) to low doses of alcohol and even to drinking water (in thirsty individuals) and to chewing gum. Andrew is also the co-director of the Medicinal Plant Research Centre. His present focus of research aims to disentangle the neurocognitive effects of herbal extracts, to attempt to identify relationships between their behavioural effects and their neurochemical properties and to identify safe treatments that may be effective in the treatment of conditions where cognition becomes fragile, including dementia. He is currently involved in trials examining the effects of herbal extracts in Alzheimer’s disease. Andrew is also committed to the public dissemination of science which has led to numerous appearances in the print, radio and television media.
- Drugs and their actions.
- Non-medical use of psychoactive drugs.
- Clinical and medicinal use of drugs
- All the most commonly encountered drug types such as legal social drugs, (alcohol, nicotine, caffeine), illicit drugs of abuse (heroin, LSD, Cannabis), main classes of psychoactive medicine (antidepressant).
“…really helps the reader to understand both conditions and treatments…a very informative and useful resource...” (Accident & Emergency Nursing, No.13, 2005)
“The coverage of the behavioural effects of a number of recreational substances is clear and informative, with particularly fine chapters on nicotine and cannabis” (Psychological Medicine, Vol.35 2005)
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