Amotivational Syndrome

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This term refers to a hypothetical effect produced by drugs, especially Marijuana, whereby individuals lose interest or the ability to engage in activities motivated by normal psychological processes. It is associated with lethargy, a severe reduction in activities, unwillingness to work, failure to meet responsibilities, and neglect of personal needs including hygiene and nutrition (despite efforts by others to help and despite statements by the individuals that they wish they could get started in these activities).

The experimental evidence of the existence of this syndrome has been mixed, but it is generally believed that amotivation is rarely caused by a drug alone; it is instead the result of a complex interaction among the effects of the drug, the personality and experience of the individual, and the context in which the drug is repeatedly administered. In addition, there is some confusion as to whether this syndrome is seen only during drug intoxication and is therefore transient or whether it is a more permanent consequence that persists for a long period of time following cessation of drug use.

(See also: Cannabis sativa ; Complications )

Chris-Ellyn Johanson