Health Psychology: Substance Misuse

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  • Substance Misuse
    • Cognitive
      • Treating it: CBT to change the way they think of it from positive to negative.
      • Why it starts: Receive positive info and benefits from the substance consumption
      • Preventing it: education about negatives of drug consumption
    • Social
      • Treating it: change their ingroup
      • Preventing it: selective of the ingroup to join.
      • Why it starts: ingroup (social identity theory) peer pressure of group, parent behaviour and beliefs.
    • Biological
      • Treating it: detox, give the individual, small amounts of drugs. Drug Replacement.
      • Why it starts: Nature, inherit addictive personality. Nurture, mother takes drugs child becomes dependent.
      • Unable to prevent
    • Health
      • study of how our mental and physical health can be assessed.
      • develops understanding of what causes good/bad health from cognitive/social/ biological approachs as health is a state of mental, physical and social wellbeing.
      • health psychologists then use this understanding to promote good health.
      • For example, Health psychologists investigate biological causes for substance misuse eg genetic predisposition, and the physical action of drugs in brain.
    • Drugs
      • Prescribed: Medically required
      • Psychoactive: Taken recreationally for their mind altering effects.
    • Substance misuse
      • Intake of drugs in quantities that could be damaging to physical or mental health.
      • For example: nicotine, alcohol. they interfere with school, family and can lead to harder drugs
    • Synapse
      • Tiny gaps between neurons that neurotransmitters pass across enabling chemcal communication between neurons
    • Tolerance
      • when physically dependent on drugs and has to take increasing amounts of it in order to achieve the effects they did when they first started taking it.
      • Tolerance occurs with drugs like cocaine, heroine and alcohol.
      • Result of down regulation or an increase in enzymes in the liver which break down the drug molecules.
    • Withdrawal
      • Unpleasant physical effects experienced by a physically dependent user as effects wear off.
      • Symptoms are generally opposite to the effects of drug - vomiting, shaking, depression, headache.
    • Physical dependence
      • A  compulsion to keep taking drugs due to a change in the neurochemistry of the brain which changes its normal functioning so the body requires the drug to function normally.
      • The user experiences both tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Why it starts: ingroup (social identity theory) peer pressure of group, parent behaviour and beliefs.


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