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Addiction, Dependance and Tolerance

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Addiction, Dependance and Tolerance:


 Repeated use of many drugs leads to tolerance and dependence.

 Dependence is characterized by physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms.

 Tolerance is the reduction in response to the same repeated dose and can occur through different mechanisms: pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and learned tolerance.

 Addiction is a syndrome characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior that results in an impairment in social and psychological functions or damage to health

 It is the result of long term changes in the brain and involves more than just the changes seen in dependence and tolerance. Eg ppl have used opiates for long periods and developed tol/dep but not an addiction, these include vietnam vets and ppl in hospital using them for pain relief.

 Addiction is seen by more and more researchers/clinicians as a life long brain disease.

 Factors influencing addiction: the drug (cost, availability, & speed of onset); the user (genetics, risk-taking behavior, & psychiatric symptoms) and the environment (community attitudes, social setting, other sources of reinforcement, employment, & education).


For more information on this subject the reader can contact the Aust. Drug Foundation, this is an organisation dedicated to helping ppl stop their drug use/abuse.



Edited by syk613
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