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Biopsychology of Alcohol and Other drugs
PeaceHealth Southwest Mill Plain Campus Health Education Center
Vancouver, WA
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Specific drugs (including alcohol, heroin, cocaine,
methamphetamine, and cannabinoids, the "psychoactive" chemicals found in
marijuana) act directly on specific molecular targets, located on neurons, and alter their
structure, and thus how they operate. Such limited "drug actions" will temporarily
change the activity of neurons, in certain "networked" areas of the brain that underlie
social decision making, selective attention, memory, feeling, and other complex human
behaviors. Chronic drug exposure will change network connections more permanently,
in ways that lead to tolerance, craving, abuse, dependence, withdrawal, and relapse

In this training we will explore where drugs act, how they change neural activity, how
chronic drug exposure leads to persistent structural changes in the brain, and the
functional significance of specific networks that generate memory, appropriate social
decision making, inhibition of inappropriate behavior, and other psychological abilities
affected by drugs. We will also discuss what an explicit knowledge of structure-function
relationships suggests about treatment options, including pharmacotherapy and
behavior-based interventions, including cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Behavioral Objectives
This training will:

1. Explain how neurons carry information
2. Explain how neurons communicate with each other across synapses, and
why the synapse represents a target-rich environment for drug actions
3. Describe four types of protein targets where drugs might act to change
structure and function
4. Provide examples of distributed networks in the brain, and the cognitive
behaviors they carry out, and why specific drug action in these networks
might affect those behaviors (e.g., why does alcohol's specific action in
frontal lobe impair social decision making?)
5. Explain why pharmacotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, or a
combination of drugs/CBT might help decrease the risk of relapse in some
Registration Options
There are no active dates for this event.
At this time there are no more seats available for attendees, please contact the CDTC at 503-805-0989 to be placed on this training wait list. This training event has ended. Please see our website for additional training opportunities.


PeaceHealth Southwest Mill Plain Campus Health Education Center (View)
600 N.E. 92nd Ave.
Vancouver, WA 98664
United States


Education > Classes
Education > Workshops

Minimum Age: 16
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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