Substance Abuse Notes

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Substance Abuse Notes

Week 2 (First lecture) – 9/10

* Substance use vs. abuse
* Use
* The legal enjoyment of your property within socially acceptable norms * i.e. you don’t drive under the influence – that’s not socially acceptable * Consumption of any psychoactive substance

* More neutral
* Includes
* Social drinking
* 1-2 drinks on any one social occasion
* Abuse
* Any use of illegal drugs
* Ex. Any use of crack cocaine – never legal
* Used both objectively and pejoratively with the intention to vilify consumption of illicit drugs * Use that is harmful and puts the user at risk
* Have been used interchangeably by the media
* Alcohol use in that context
* Social drinking
* 1-2 drinks in a day, in any one social occasion
* Problem drinking
* 3-4 drinks a day
* Alcohol abuse
* 6-24 drinks a day
* What is a drug?: Defining the term
* 3 categories: Illegality, Medical utility, Psychoactivity * Medical utility
* Used to treat or heal the mind or body
* Medicalization: prescription of currently illegal substances for medical purposes * Marijuana in 14 states
* Heroin in some countries
* Not all substances have medical utility
* Categorization by government
* Schedule I: no medical utility
* Completely illegal with exception of research * Tightest control on availability
* Cocaine, meth
* Schedule II: some medical utility
* High potential for abuse
* Tight control on distribution
* Heroin, morphine
* Schedule III – V: medical utility
* No illicit market value. Not typically bought on the streets. * Anti psychotics, anti depressants
* Legality
* Sale/possession of a substance is legal or illegal irrespective of the user’s intent * Laws define what a drug is, and determines the lives users and sellers will lead * Socially defined and can shift over time

* Proponents of decriminalization argue that strict enforcement of drug laws drive people to violence and crime * Advocates of less restrictive drug laws argue that taking the emphasis off law enforcement would allow more effort toward education, prevention, and treatment. * Psychoactivity

* Regardless of legal or medical status, any substance that alters the working of the brain * Affects central nervous system
* Influences thoughts, feelings, behaviors
* Based entirely on the essential properties of the substance * Instrumental vs. Recreational
* Instrumental
* Using a substance for the purpose not of achieving an intoxication but achieving a goal * Ex. Using caffeine to stay awake and study, using cocaine to work third shift at work * Can be legal or illegal drug

* No intention of getting high
* A means to an end
* Recreational
* Using a drug for the distinct purpose of getting high or enjoying the effects * Ex. Smoking marijuana with no medical need, drinking a glass of wine with dinner, shooting heroin * Ex. Drinking a mocha frappuccino from Starbucks (enjoying, not using the caffeine) * TEST: be able to categorize as legal, illegal, rec, instru (chart on her PPT) * Illegal

* Anything not prescribed
* Some other ways of defining drugs
* Could be classified in context to their social meaning within a society: Celebrated, tolerated, instrumental, prohibited *...
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