Substance Abuse psyb3 aqa

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Substance Abuse
Use and Abuse-
Substance use- where people don't experience immediate harm from taking a substance,
e.g. drinking a cup a coffee first thing in the morning
Substance misuse- where use results in some kind of problem such as; social, psychological,
physical or legal problems
Substance abuse- where the person (and indirectly others) will be harmed from taking the
Addiction and Physical dependence-
Addiction- user becomes preoccupied with the substance. Likely to be both physically and
psychologically dependant
Physical dependence- where the body has got used to the substance and continued usage is
needed to maintain what is its now normal state. If usage isn't continued, withdrawal
symptoms and unpleasant feeling may occur
Psychological dependence- the emotional and cognitive compulsion to use the drug. There is
an uncontrollable craving or desire to repeat the behaviour or action
Tolerance- where the responsiveness of the drug decreases, meaning more is needed to be
taken to achieve the same effects
Siegel investigated how drug tolerance may be situationally dependent. 65% of rats placed
in a new environment died of the heroin injection, in contrast to the 30% of rats who died
that stayed in their own environment from an overdose.
Withdrawal- unpleasant physical and psychological side symptoms that occur when an addict
abruptly ceases using the drug.
Types of substance abuse-
Solvents (aerosols, glue, lighter fluid, etc.)
Tobacco and nicotine
Stimulants (ecstasy, cocaine, poppers, etc.)- stimulate the central nervous system and result
in feelings of happiness and being full of energy
Depressants (opiates, tranquilizers, alcohol, solvents, etc.)- slow down the central nervous
system and give a feeling of calm and relaxation
Hereditary factors:
Kaij- investigated the rates of alcohol abuse in identical and fraternal twins. There
was a higher concordance rate for identical twins in comparison to fraternal twins,
suggesting a genetic explanation. However, twins are usually brought up in the same
environment and identical twins treated in the same way so you can't over interpret
this data.
Personality factors:

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Flory found alcohol abuse was associated with extroverts (outgoing, sociable and
easily bored) as opposed to introverts.
Low conscientiousness is also associated with alcohol abuse. Low conscientiousness
is shown by a person being disorganised, carless and unreliable.
Social factors and peer influence:
Social learning theory
Peer influence and peer pressure
Social norms
Treatment and Prevention-
Psychological treatments:
Aversion therapy- can be effective but success rate is not very high and relapse
tends to occur following the termination of the treatment.…read more

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Flay- four factors that are important for the effectiveness of social
inoculation; knowledge, discussion, skill development and public
Make people resistant to persuasion
Health promotion and health education-
Educating people to lead a healthier lifestyle
The Prochaska model of behaviour has four stages:
1) Pre-contemplation- not aware of their substance abuse problem. No intention of changing
2) Contemplation- aware they have a problem and consider changing behaviour yet no
commitment.…read more


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