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Recreational Psychoactive Drugs 

Recreational Psychoactive Drugs
Chapter:
Recreational Psychoactive Drugs
Author(s):

Leslie L. Iversen

, Susan D. Iversen

, Floyd E. Bloom

, and Robert H. Roth

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780195380538.003.0533
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date: 05 June 2020

Humans seem to have an irresistible urge to alter their state of consciousness, and the use of psychoactive drugs is one popular means of achieving this. Alcohol and intoxicant drugs derived from plants have been used for many thousands of years, supplemented more recently by man-made synthetic compounds. Understanding how such drugs act on the brain, and how their use can turn into abuse and addiction, is an important part of neuropsycho-pharmacology, which is why we review this subject in detail. This section of the book covers psychoactive drugs used for nonmedical reasons, so the legal substances alcohol and nicotine are included along with the illicit narcotics.

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