drug use and neurotransmitters – “this is your brain on drugs

Recreational drugs are prevalent in the college scene.  The chapter on biological foundations of behavior discusses the importance of the neurotransmitters that carry neural messages.  These drugs can enhance the effects of some neurotransmitters, by increasing the production of, or blocking the reuptake of neurotransmitters. Alternately some drugs depress or reduce the effects of neurotransmitters by blocking the receptors or decreasing their production.  The title of this assignment is from a commercial about drug use and brain effects from the 80s.  I have included it below.  Please watch it prior to doing the assignment.

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video links:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FtNm9CgA6U 



Now that you know more about neurons and neurotransmitters, I would like you to consider how drugs affect our brains and functioning.

Use one of the search engines (preferably psych articles) on our school library web site ( http://www.pasadena.edu/library/ ) to get information about how recreational drugs affect the brain.  Look up a drug that may have been used by your peers or family members at some point. Make sure that you use sources that are peer reviewed.  These are professional writers, writing for professional readers in scholarly journals like Journal of Abnormal Psychology.  Note that magazines like Psychology Today are NOT scholarly and peer reviewed.  While you might read (and reference) an article from there, they do not count toward your scholarly source requirement.  

Your research paper should be at least three full pages, double spaced and should respond to all of the issues below. The text of the document only is included in the three full pages, the reference page will be the 4th page, and you should use at least 2 peer reviewed sources.  The paper may be longer, it may not be shorter.  Citations and references should be in APA style.  

  1. Discuss your findings about how the drug interacts with the neurotransmitters in the brain.  Please make sure that you include citations  for the sources.  Please make sure that you write your paper in your own words.
  2. How does the drug you studied affect memory? Discuss both the long term and short term memory effects.  
  3. What happens when you stop taking the drug? What are the short term and long term effects of taking this drug.  
  4. Does it have addictive properties?  If so, how do the addictive properties evidence themselves.  
  5. Finally conduct an in depth critical analysis of the personality and functionality impact of the drug use on those who you know that have been affected by the drug, or on what you had heard about the drug in the past.  
  6. Turnitin score no higher than 10%

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