DEFINITION: Health Psychology
- Study of how our mental and physical health can be assessed.
- Develops understanding of what causes bad/good health from cognitive, social, biological approaches as health is a state of mental, physical and social well-being.
- Health Psychologists use this to promote good health.
- E.G: They investigate biological causes for substance misuse, such as genetic predisposition, and the physical action of drugs in the brain.
DEFINITION: Substance Misuse
- Intake of drugs in quantites that are potentially damaging to physical or mental health.
- E.G: nicotine and alcohol. Interference in school and family could lead to harder drugs.
- Tiny gaps between neurons that neurotransmitters pass across, enabling chemical communication between neurons.
DEFINITION: Psychological Dependence
- A feeling of satisfaction and a drive that results in an individual having to carry on taking drugs to produce continuous pleasure.
- Drug taking becomes central to the users life therefore making withdrawal difficult to maintain due to habit.
DEFINITION: Physical Dependence
- A compulsion to keep taking drugs due to a change in the neurochemistry of the brain which substitutes normal bodily functions resulting in the body needing to continue taking the drugs in order to feel normal.
- User experiences both tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.
- When individual is physically dependent on drugs and has to take increasing amounts to feel the effects they experienced when they first took the drug.
- It occurs with mant drugs including heroine, cocaine and alcohol.
- It can be a result of down regulation (decrease of number/sensitivity of receptors) OR an increase in enzymes in the liver which break the drug molecules down.
Why Substance Misuse Starts - Cog/Soc/Bio
COGNITIVE: Receives positive information of substance and the benefits from it.
SOCIAL: Social Identity Theory - ingroup rake substances. peer pressure of group, parents behaviours/beliefs.
BIOLOGICAL: Nature - inherit addictive personality. Nurture - mother takes drugs the child becomes dependent on drugs too.
Treating Substance Misuse
COGNITIVE: CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) - change the way people think of something, from positive to negative thoughts.
SOCIAL: change ingroup.
BIOLOGICAL: detox - small amounts of drugs given to individual. Drug replacement.
Preventing Substance Misuse
COGNITIVE: educated about the negative side effects of drugs to prevent consumption.
SOCIAL: selective of who joins ingroup/what ingroup to join.
Two Types of Drugs
- Prescribed - Medically required.
- Psychoactive - Taken recreationally for their mind altering effects.
- Unpleasant physical effects experienced by a physically dependent drug user as the effects of a drug wear off.
- Withdrawal symptoms are generally the opposite of the effects of the drug and can include vomiting, shaking, depression and headaches.