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have the ability to change an individual’s consciousness, mood or thinking processes.

Cocaine
administration has been associated with a marked increase in the number of
dendritic spines of the neurons of the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal
cortex
-Thus, the cerebral cortex, hippocampus,
lateral caudate-putamen, substantia nigra, pars reticulata, globus pallidus,
entopeduncular nucleus and the molecular layer of the cerebellum are all
populated with particularly high concentrations of CB1 receptors
-It has been shown in several studies (as reviewed in Ameri, 1999) that
long-term exposure to cannabis can produce long-lasting cognitive
impairment, which may be due to residue drug in the brain, withdrawal
reaction or direct neurotoxicity of cannabinoids, tar, carboxyhaemoglobin
or benzopyrene. (...the norwegian study on schizophrenia)There is some evidence of impaired ability to focus
attention and filter out irrelevant information, which increases with the
number of years of use but is unrelated to frequency of use.(... latent inhibition & learned irrelevance in
schizophrenia_)

-Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by hyperactivity,


impulsivity and deficits in attention that are not appropriate for a child’s
developmental age. Psychostimulants, such as methylphenidate, are used in the
treatment of ADHD.
-Schizophrenia is
associated with excessive activity in mesolimbic and mesocortical dopamine
pathways
-Experimental
studies over several decades in humans have clearly indicated that although
acute amphetamine administration exacerbates the positive symptoms of
schizophrenia, chronic administration diminishes the negative symptoms
-All of
the above data suggest ways by which the use of psychoactive substances
would self-medicate symptoms of schizophrenia by enhancing glutamatergic
neurotransmission in order to counteract a possible hypoglutamatergia that
may characterize this disease.