Psychopharmacology

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  • The study of the effects of drugs on psychological processes—moods, sensations, thinking, and behavior. A vast array of drugs are being used in this process with varying psychoactive properties, and they are used most commonly to treat mental disorders. Most of these work by acting on neurotransmitters—biochemicals that relay information between neurons. Psychoactive drugs originate from natural sources such as plants or through artificial synthesis in the laboratory. These drugs are different from sedative drugs, which were formerly in use and led to impaired motor and perceptual abilities and clouded consciousness. Antipsychotic drugs, on the other hand, can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and reduce delusions and hallucinations without the earlier side effects. This has led to the overprescription of drugs to reduce agitation and anxiety. ...

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