Ch 9: Addiction Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Ch 9: Addiction Deck (105)
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abstinence syndrome

Condition characterized by unpleasant symptoms when an individual tries to cease drug use.



Alternative form of a gene. Multiple alleles of a gene differ by one or more nucleotides in the gene’s DNA sequence and may code for proteins with slightly different amino acid sequences.



Adaptive biological process in which an organism’s response to repeated threats or challenges results in long-lasting physiological or behavioral changes. This concept is distinguished from homeostasis, which refers to the tendency of an organism to maintain physiological or behavioral stability in the face of threats or challenges (i.e., to remain unchanged).



Difficulty or lack of the ability to experience pleasure. Such a state is characteristic of many depressed patients and may also occur during drug withdrawal in an addicted person.


anti-reward system

Neural system that is thought to be engaged during the transition from impulsive to compulsive drug use. This system is an important contributor to the negative mood state induced by withdrawal from abused drugs.


biopsychosocial model

Model of addiction that attempts to give a full account of addiction by incorporating biological, psychological, and sociological factors.


breaking point

The point at which an animal will no longer expend the effort required to receive the reward (e.g., in a drug self-administration paradigm).



Diagnosis of simultaneous but distinct disease processes in an individual, such as the propensity for drug abusers to be diagnosed with other psychiatric problems.



Strong urge addicts feel, compelling them to take a drug.


Delta FosB

Member of the Fos family of transcription factors. This protein accumulates in some brain areas (nucleus accumbens, dorsal striatum) after repeated exposure to various drugs of abuse and is hypothesized to contribute to the development of an addicted state. accumulation of this lasts at least several weeks after last drug administration bc the protein has a long half-life


disease model

Model of addiction that treats addiction as a distinct medical disorder or disease; based largely on evidence of dysregulation of brain function in addiction and on the idea that such dysfunction is at least partly caused by repeated drug exposure (neuroadaptations)


drug detoxification

Process whereby an individual eliminates a drug from the body and goes through an abstinence syndrome.


drug priming

Delivery of a small dose of a drug by the experimenter for the purpose of eliciting drug-seeking behavior, typically in an animal whose drug self-administration responding was previously extinguished.


drug reward

A positively-motivating subjective response to a drug, often experienced by humans as a euphoric feeling or “high.”


electrical self-stimulation

A procedure whereby an animal self-administers a weak electrical shock to a specific brain area due to the reinforcing properties of the stimulation.


executive function

Collection of higher-order cognitive abilities including planning, organization, problem solving, mental flexibility, and valuation of incentives. The prefrontal cortex plays an important role in executive function.


Gateway Theory

Theory proposing that use of certain drugs of abuse, particularly during childhood or adolescence, increases the risk of progressing to other substances. For example, tobacco or alcohol have been proposed as gateways to marijuana use, and in turn marijuana has been proposed as a gateway to so-called “hard drugs” like cocaine or heroin.



The relative contribution of genetics to the variability of a trait within a population; .3-.8 for substance use disorders 


Impaired response inhibition and salience attribution (IRISA)

Theory of addiction that emphasizes prefrontal cortical deficits leading to difficulty in refraining from drug use (impaired response inhibition) and the development of an abnormal psychological state in which drugs have much greater motivational power than normal reinforcers (impaired salience attribution).


moral model

Model of addiction that treats addiction as a personal and moral problem; reason why the medical model exists (to reduce sense of guilt)


natural recovery

Recovery from drug addiction without the aid of treatment; generally have less severe substance use problems 



Changes in brain functioning that attempt to compensate for the effects of repeated substance use.


opponent-process model

Model of addiction in which the initial positive response to a drug is followed by an opposing withdrawal response as the drug wears off; over time repeated presentations of the stimulus altered the opponent process by strengthening its magnitude, reducing its latency to onet, and increasing its duration


place conditioning

Pavlovian conditioning procedure used to test the rewarding effects of drugs in rats and mice; the animals are exposed to drugs in specific compartments of an apparatus--with animals later choosing to spend more time in the drug compartment later on


positive reinforcer

Something (e.g., an abused drug) that, when provided to an organism, increases the strength of the response that was used to obtain the item. In studies of addiction, the positive reinforcing quality of a drug is usually measured by means of a self-administration procedure.


progressive-ratio procedure

Method used to measure the relative power of drug reinforcement by steadily increasing the response to reward ratio. Eventually leads to the breakpoint 



Recurrence of drug use following a period of abstinence.



Period in which an addict is drug free.


reward circuit

Circuit of neurons that, when activated, mediates the rewarding effects of both natural rewards (e.g., food, water, sex) and drugs of abuse.


schedule of controlled substances

System established by the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 that classifies most substances with abuse potential into one of five schedules. Schedules I and II have the strictest guidelines.