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Drugs, the Brain, and Behavior: The Pharmacology of Abuse and Dependence

NCJ Number
J Brick; C K Erickson
Date Published
194 pages
This book looks at the effects of drugs on the brain, with emphasis on the brain-behavior relationship and neurophysiology and on mechanistic actions of mood-altering drugs.
The authors move away from a purely behavioral concept of alcoholism and other drug dependence toward the neurobiological realm where behavioral symptoms of addiction are generated. Initial book chapters define what is a drug, examine the pharmacology of drug use and the brain-behavior relationship, pharmacokinetics of the nervous system, neuroanatomy, and neurophysiology. Subsequent chapters focus specifically on alcohol, cocaine and other stimulants, opioids, marijuana, anxiolytics, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. The authors conclude that addiction is a disease state caused by a brain chemistry imbalance in a part of the brain known as the "pleasure pathway" and that addiction is a disease over which the individual has no control. They characterize the disease process as a brain chemistry-deficiency disorder. Further, they distinguish between drug abuse as a behavioral problem that responds to coercion, education, and decreased availability and drug addiction that requires intensive multidimensional therapies. References, tables, and figures


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