Nature of addiction
It is a fallacy to believe that specific drugs have fixed and predictable effects which are the same from individual to individual. It is acknowledged that a “drug experience” will depend on several other factors beside the pharmacological properties of the drug. The gamut of “drug experience” involves interrelated sets of non-pharmacological and pharmacological factors. These include pharmacological factors, personality of the individual (set) and the context or setting. In fact with some specific drugs including LSD, Ecstasy, Ketamine and hallucinogenic mushrooms, the set (personality/mind-set, attitudes and expectancies) and setting (context, environment) have a more significant influence than the pharmacological properties of the substance. This chapter examines the drug and alcohol experiences, why people take drugs or alcohol, the pattern of drug use and misuse, the routes of drug administration and the complications of injecting drugs.