Drugs of Abuse and Aggression

Jill M. Grimes, Lesley Ricci, Khampaseuth Rasakham and Richard H. Melloni, Jr.

in Biology of Aggression

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780195168761
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865444 | DOI:
 							Drugs of Abuse and Aggression

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This chapter summarizes studies examining the link between drugs of abuse and the behavioral neurobiology of aggressive behavior in animal models. It considers studies examining how drug abuse affects the aggressive response patterns of animals, as well as the development, activity, and function of neural systems implicated in aggression control. It shows that the effects of many commonly abused drugs, illegal and prescribed, on aggression are dependent upon the sex and species of the animal, the dosing and treatment regimen, and the behavioral testing paradigm. Although very few drugs, or drug classes, have been shown to consistently influence aggressive behavior regardless of the aforementioned factors (i.e., species, age, sex, dosing, testing paradigm), there are notable exceptions, including some anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), nicotine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and mescaline. The administration of various types of AAS has consistently increased aggression in various animal species of varying ages regardless of experimental paradigm, whereas nicotine, MDMA, and mescaline have been shown to consistently decrease aggressive responding.

Keywords: drug abuse; aggressive behavior; steroids; stimulants; depressants; hallucinogens; opioids

Chapter.  37760 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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