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LOOKING AHEAD

After you have read and studied this chapter, you should be able to:

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1. LO1 Define and discuss the concepts of addictive behaviour, substance abuse, and substance dependence
2. LO2 Explain factors contributing to drug abuse and addiction
3. LO3 List the major categories of psychoactive drugs and describe their effects, methods of use, and
potential for abuse and addiction
4. LO4 Discuss social issues related to psychoactive drug abuse and its prevention and treatment
5. LO5 Evaluate the role of drugs and other addictive behaviours in your life and identify your risk factors
for abuse or addiction

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

1. The most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) released by the
American Psychiatric Association includes the categories substance abuse and substance dependence.

True or false?

2. Which of the following is the most widely used illegal drug among Canadian university and college
students?

1. hallucinogens

2. marijuana

3. opioids

3. Caffeine use can produce physical dependence.

True or false?

4. Which of the following drugs is most addictive?

1. marijuana

2. nicotine

3. LSD

5. About what percentage of Canadians reported using cocaine in 2012?

1. 1 percent

2. 10 percent

3. 25 percent

ANSWERS

1. FALSE. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) no longer includes the
substance abuse and substance-dependence categories; they have been combined to represent a single
condition, ranging from mild to severe, called substance use disorder.

2. b. Marijuana ranks first, followed by hallucinogens and then opioids. Alcohol remains by far the most
popular drug among post-secondary students.

3. TRUE. Regular users of caffeine develop physical tolerance, needing more caffeine to produce the same
level of alertness. Many experience withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches and irritability, when they
decrease their caffeine intake.

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4. b. Nicotine is believed to be the most highly addictive psychoactive drug.

5. a. The prevalence of past-year cocaine use among the general Canadian population was 1.1 percent in
2012; this percentage was down slightly from the 1.6 percent reported in 2008.

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The use of drugs for both medical and social purposes is widespread in Canada, as shown in Table 14.1. Many
people believe that every problem has or should have a chemical solution. For fatigue, many turn to caffeine; for
insomnia, sleeping pills; for anxiety or boredom, prescription medication, alcohol, or other recreational drugs.
Advertisements, social pressures, and the human desire for quick solutions to difficult problems all contribute to
the prevailing attitude that drugs can ease all pain. But benefits often come with the risk of harmful
consequences, and drug use canand often doespose serious or even life-threatening risks.

Click here for a description of Table 14.1 Non-medical Drug Use Among Canadians, 2012.

Sources: Butt, P., D. Beirness, L. Gliksman, C. Paradis, and T. Stockwell. (2011). Alcohol and health in Canada:
A summary of evidence and guidelines for low-risk drinking. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse;
Health Canada. 2014. Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey (CADUMS): Summary of Results for
2012, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/drugs-drogues/stat/_2012/summary-sommaire-eng.php (retrieved October
29, 2015); Health Canada. 2012. Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey (CADUMS): Summary of
Results for 2011, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/drugs-drogues/stat/_2011/tables-tableaux-eng.php#t1 (retrieved
October 29, 2015); and Health Canada. 2013. Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) 2012,
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/research-recherche/stat/ctums-esutc_2012-eng.php (retrieved
November 8, 2015).

The most serious risks are abuse and addiction. The drugs most often associated with abuse are psychoactive
drugsthose that alter a person's experiences or consciousness. In the short term, psychoactive drugs can cause
intoxication, a state in which sometimes unpredictable physical and emotional changes occur. A person who is
intoxicated may experience potentially serious changes in physical functioning. The individual's emotions and

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judgment may be affected in ways that lead to uncharacteristic and unsafe behaviour. In the long term, recurrent
drug use can have profound physical, emotional, and social effects.

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This chapter introduces the concept of abuse and addiction, then focuses on the major classes of psychoactive
drugs, their effects, their potential for abuse and addiction, and other issues related to their use. Alcohol and
nicotinetwo of the most widely used and most harmful psychoactive drugsare discussed in Chapters 15 and
16.

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