Sunday, April 19, 2020

Drugs Lecture - Rebecca Moya

The lecture on drugs focused on various types of drugs and the effects that they can have on the human brain. I learned that caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive stimulant in the world. It's interesting that caffeine, a substance found in so many products that people consume everyday, is in the same category as drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, and opiates. Furthermore, addiction is a disorder in the brain that is often very difficult to overcome. Many people with drug addictions want to quit, but cannot because of strong cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Similarly to other diseases, addiction can be influenced through genetics. Individuals who are genetically related could be similarly predisposed to drug use and addiction. There are also certain personality types that are more likely than others to become addicted to drugs. For example, people who tend to act on impulse are more likely to experiment and become addicted to drugs than others. Addiction can also find itself in other forms besides drugs such as gambling, exercise, video games, etc. In these situations, people become addicted to their behaviors and the feelings that they experience when they are engaging in these behaviors. With regards to exercise, frequently engaging in physical activity can be seen as a positive addiction. People receive positive reinforcement from exercise such as improved physical and mental health. Physical activity helps to release endorphins which can lead to a boost in mood. However, compulsive exercise is not healthy. People may be motivated to engage in excessive levels of physical activity because of poor body image, eating disorders, and other related issues that they may need help overcoming. I had never considered exercise tolerance as a result of exercising too much. However, it makes sense because people can get used to the euphoria and mood boost that they feel after exercising if they engage in it too often. I also thought it was interesting to learn about gambling priming in which the urge to gamble appears when a person is exposed to gambling-associated stimuli. For instance, the sounds and sights of a casino can trigger the urge to gamble in someone who used to be addicted to gambling. People who are addicted to certain behaviors such as gambling should be aware of specific triggers or stimuli that may promote those behaviors in order to overcome their addictions.

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