Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Drug Sensitization

  • Androulla Ioannou
  • Xenia Anastassiou-Hadjicharalambous
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1035-1

Synonyms

Definition

An increase in drug effect upon continual exposure to a drug in the organism, which was previously exposed to the drug.

Introduction

Drug sensitization is a process frequently encountered in the literature of the field of addictions and pharmacology, and it is an essential process towards the understanding of drug action and use.

Drug Sensitization in Substance Abusers

With repeated drug administration, gradual and incremental neuroadaptations are produced that make animals hypersensitive to the specific drugs. Even though users or abusers will be keeping the same dosage levels, drug effects will be greater and greater, therefore they would become intoxicated even in small doses. Using repeatedly a drug but with some pauses in between causes greater sensitization compared to taking a single dosage or even taking repetitively the drug. Moreover, sensitization is promoted if periods of use are alternated with periods of abstinence. When a person who is...

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References

  1. Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (1998). What is the role of dopamine in reward: Hedonic impact, reward learning, or incentive salience? Brain Research Reviews, 28(3), 309–369.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Robinson, T. E., & Berridge, K. C. (2008). The incentive sensitization theory of addiction: Some current issues. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1507), 3137–3146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Steketee, J. D., & Kalivas, P. W. (2011). Drug wanting: Behavioral sensitization and relapse to drug-seeking behavior. Pharmacological Reviews, 63(2), 348–365.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Androulla Ioannou
    • 1
  • Xenia Anastassiou-Hadjicharalambous
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus

Section editors and affiliations

  • Menelaos Apostolou
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus