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Table 23-1

Multiple Simultaneous Variables Affecting Onset and Continuation of Drug Abuse and Addiction

Agent (drug) Availability Cost

Purity/potency Mode of administration

Chewing (absorption via oral mucous membranes)



Subcutaneous and intramuscular



Speed of onset and termination of effects (pharmacokinetics: combination of agent and host)

Host (user) Heredity

Innate tolerance

Speed of developing acquired tolerance Likelihood of experiencing intoxication as pleasure Metabolism of the drug Psychiatric symptoms Prior experiences/expectations Propensity for risk-taking behavior

Environment Social setting Community attitudes

Peer influence, role models Availability of other reinforcers (sources of pleasure or recreation) Employment or educational opportunities

Conditioned stimuli: Environmental cues become associated with drugs after repeated use in the same environment

Table 23-2

Dependence Among Users, 1990-1992

Table 23-2

Dependence Among Users, 1990-1992


Ever Used* %

Addiction %

Risk of Addiction %


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