“Such a book should enhance our knowledge of the physiological mechanisms underlying behaviour, using drugs as a medium.… The neurobiological basis of the actions of drugs is explained clearly…. Matters crucial to the drug industry are also discussed and the readers made aware of the great efforts that are required before a drug reaches the market…. A unique feature of this book is that each chapter has a summary and a mini-quiz. The keys are provided. These will aid in quick self-evaluation. A very useful glossary and references are provided. The citations up to 1992 are comprehensive and will help further reading…. The illustrations, tables and screen provided are useful. Students of psychiatry, behavioural pharmacology and people working on substance-use disorders will find the book informative…. Rarely has a book in the area been so comprehensive in its coverage.” --The National Medical Journal of India “Rarely has a book in the area been so comprehensive in its coverage. I have enjoyed reading it and I hope others will.” --Rajat Ray in The National Medical Journal of India “Current interest in psychoactive drugs has spawned a large body of writing, but Fred Leavitt's Drugs and Behavior, now in its third edition, is different. It covers therapeutic and recreational drugs, and has interesting chapters describing their effects on memory, creativity, sexual behavior, aggression, and sleep. What is more, it is reader friendly and not afraid of controversy.” --Alex Patton in BMJ “This is an interesting text that provides a host of information not usually found in standard pharmacology texts. The fact that it is now in its third edition attests to the value of this volume. This is a valuable book. It should be available in drug and alcohol units, and it should be read by medicos, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and others working in the drug and alcohol field.” --Robert G. Batey in Drug and Alcohol Review “The book focuses on relevant topics and issues and the chapters are comprehensive. Students will learn a great deal about the effects of drugs on the human experience.” --Patricia Carl-Stannard, Department of Social Work, Sacred Heart University “The author expresses opinions on many controversial issues. However, I think these positions are defended well and I personally agree with them. I think the defense of some generally unpopular positions is commendable and represents one of the strengths of the text.” --John A. Brendel, Department of Psychology, Lock Haven University “I am impressed by the content and quality of this book. In contrast to most books of its type, careful consideration has been given to the logical presentation of information and the integration of a vast literature on drug action in nonhumans to drug action in humans. Because of the well-conceived format, emphasis on the understanding of basic issues, and the author's reliance on well-controlled studies, the text is one of the best in promoting critical thinking.” --Mitchell J. Picker, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill “Fred Leavitt's Drugs & Behavior appears in its third edition to cover the basics of psychopharmacology. Unique to this title is an organization that focuses on human behavioral changes, updating information from previous editions to reflect the latest research.” --The Midwest Book Review “This is an unusual book which contains much interesting information about mind-altering drugs (opiates, stimulants, cannabis, PCP, LSD, amyl nitrite, etc.). The uses and side-effects of drugs in psychiatry are also dealt with briefly… The most interesting sections concern the effects of mind-altering drugs on various aspects of behaviour, with chapters devoted to memory, sexual behaviour, aggressiveness, sleep and creativity… Readers interested in these topics will find the book very useful.” --John C. Cookson in British Journal of Psychiatry What effects do various psychoactive drugs have on such aspects of human behavior as creativity, memory, and sexuality? How effective are such drugs in treating mental disorders? How are new drugs tested and licensed? Presenting an intriguing introduction to the study of psychopharmacology, this fully revised and updated third edition of Drugs and Behavior is uniquely organized around the ways in which human behavior is affected by drugs rather than by categories of drugs only. Beginning with the principles of neurotransmission, pharmacokinetics, and drug classification, the text covers the issues of new drug development, drug dangers and benefits, legalization, drug abuse prevention and treatment, and therapeutic uses of psychoactive drugs. Separate chapters present the latest research findings on drugs' influence on memory, creativity, sex, aggression, and sleep. Features such as chapter-opening questions, bold-facing, defining of new terms, summaries, and end-of-chapter review quizzes help students to understand this complex and controversial material. Professionals and students who are involved in drug and alcohol studies, health, psychology, nursing, or sociology will find this volume to be an invaluable addition to their libraries.
Chapter 1: Introduction
What Is Psychopharmacology?
Psychopharmacology is the science that deals with the effects of drugs on behavior. A drug is a chemical that affects living matter. Behavior, broadly defined as any observable response, includes measures of perception, mood, thinking, and so forth. Drugs that affect behavior are called psychoactive.
Why Study Psychopharmacology?
Works of literature, some labeled fiction and some not so labeled, describe fascinating drug effects. In Greek mythology, travelers through Hades sipped from the River Lethe and became oblivious to all that had gone before. Time magazine anticipated in 1966 that memory pills might soon become available for instantly assimilating large bodies of knowledge. Ponce de Leon failed to find a fountain of youth, but physician Brown-Sequard ...