The Neuropsychological Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse

The research and popular literature are replete with information discussing the physical mechanisms of addiction, theories of alcohol and drug action within the human body, and the psychosocial impact of substance abuse. We are gaining insight into the process of addiction and how the rewarding effects of certain substances are a result of dysregulation of the brain reward circuit. However, the body of research linking the physical effects of substances of abuse to cognitive or neuropsychological functioning is less comprehensive. We are beginning to comprehend how physical changes in the brain due to substance abuse may lead to acute, transient, and permanent alterations in the way one thinks and processes information. The purpose of this chapter is to provide the reader with a survey of research identifying the documented relationships between alcohol and drug abuse and neuropsychological functioning. Clearly, a significant portion of the research in this area has focused on alcohol abuse and this chapter will begin with an understanding of that body of research. Next will be a review of the research on polydrug abuse in which population samples are not distinguished by a particular drug, as is often the case. Read more […]

The Neuropsychological Consequences of Amphetamines and MDMA (Ecstasy)

Although amphetamine use can result in neurological findings such as hypertension, stroke, brain hemorrhage, or other neuropathy, neuropsychological findings in human subjects have not been well documented, except in the cases of infant and developmental exposure. With the increase of mefhamphetamine use in the United States, patients are presenting with chronic psychotic illnesses likely to be related to vasoconstriction and neurotoxicity resulting in brain damage. The decision-making abilities of chronic amphetamine abusers were studied by Rogers and others. In a computerized decision-making task, chronic amphetamine abusers tended to exhibit longer response times before making their decisions when compared to opiate abusers. In general, the research data suggested that decision-making performances of chronic amphetamine abusers was similar to the performances of patients with focal damage of the prefrontal cortex. In addition, it was found that the chronic amphetamine abusers’ performances were also similar to that of the performances of normal volunteers with induced decreases in plasma tryptophan. This finding helped support the notion that amphetamine abusers may experience reduced levels of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, Read more […]

Drug Info: Therapeutic use. Treatment. Mental and Physiological Effects. Rehab.

Entries are arranged alphabetically and follow a standardized format that allows to easily find information, and also facilitates comparisons of different drugs. Rubrics include: • Official names, Street names: This section lists the alternate names for a substance, including brand names, generic names, and chemical names for drugs, as well as common “street” names for drugs and other substances. • Drug classification: This section lists the type of drug and its classification and schedule by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, if applicable. • Key terms: This is a mini-glossary of terms in the entry that may be unfamiliar to students. • Overview: Historical background is included here, including the drug’s origin, development, and introduction to society. The current impact of the drug is discussed. • Chemical/organic composition: This section includes discussion on the various compositions of the drug, if it is found in pure or altered forms, and whether or not it is often mixed with other substances or drugs. • Ingestion methods: Availability of the drug or substance in different forms, for example, pill or powder, is discussed. • Therapeutic use: This section describes Read more […]

PMA and PMMA: Usage trends

PMA and PMMA: Composition, Therapeutic use, Usage trends. Treatment and rehabilitation. PMA and PMMA effects. Reactions with other drugs.

PMA and PMMA: Therapeutic use, Treatment. PMA and PMMA rehab.

PMA and PMMA: Composition, Therapeutic use, Usage trends. Treatment and rehabilitation. PMA and PMMA effects. Reactions with other drugs.

Mescaline: Chemical | Organic composition

Mescaline: Composition, Therapeutic use, Usage trends. Treatment and rehabilitation. Mescaline effects. Reactions with other drugs.

Meperidine: History notes

Meperidine: Composition, Therapeutic use, Usage trends. Treatment and rehabilitation. Meperidine effects. Reactions with other drugs.

Ketamine: Therapeutic use

Ketamine: Composition, Therapeutic use, Usage trends. Treatment and rehabilitation. Ketamine effects. Reactions with other drugs.

Ketamine: Therapeutic use, Treatment. Ketamine rehab.

Ketamine: Composition, Therapeutic use, Usage trends. Treatment and rehabilitation. Ketamine effects. Reactions with other drugs.

Fentanyl: Legal consequences

Fentanyl: Composition, Therapeutic use, Usage trends. Treatment and rehabilitation. Fentanyl effects. Reactions with other drugs.