Behavioral Pharmacology


Pharmacology has many major sub principles, Biochemical, Cardiovascular, Molecular, Neuropharmacology, Chemotherapy, Pharmokinetics, Immunopharmacology, Clinical and last but not least Behavioral.
Behavioral pharmacology is the study of the effect of drugs on behavior. This includes the effects psychoactive
drugs have on learning, memory, drug addiction and neurotransmitter levels.
Recently there has been a steady increase in the use of Ritalin and similar drugs on children diagnosed with different forms of Attention deficit disorder. To some this is a miraculous discovery but to many others the effects of continued use of these drugs over extended periods of time is a cause for great concern. There is a whole generation coming up that have been on this drug and we can not be certain of what the long term effects will be. The other concern is that it may be over prescribed. In Reno, it is estimated that 1 in 10 children are being given this drug for “over-activity” some without counseling follow up. Some question whether it is becoming a “fashion” drug and parents are using the drug to manage behavior that may not be extreme enough to actually warrant medication.
The eventual outcomes will only be seen over time as these children grow up. Regardless of the future problems the current problem of medicating any child that may simply be difficult to manage is one, which needs to be more closely regulated.

Includes topics such as the effects of psychoactive drugs on the phenomena of learning, memory, wakefulness, sleep and drug addiction, and the behavioral consequences of experimental intervention in enzyme activity and brain neurotransmitter levels and metabolism.

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