What Is a Drug

Topics: Cocaine, Drug addiction, Morphine Pages: 8 (2458 words) Published: May 21, 2013
What is a drug?
A drug may be defined as any substance other than food that by its chemical nature affects the structure and function of the living organism. Why do people use drugs?
It has been shown that there are two main reasons why people use drugs.   1. Using drugs because it feels good and/or their friends are doing it 2. Using drugs because they are suffering from emotional or physical abuse, or because they suffer from mental disorders. When is it considered abuse?

Medical and governmental authorities have defined abuse as the non-medical use of a substance.  According to American Psychiatric Association 2000, abuse of a drug is referred to as a maladaptive pattern of repeated use that brings on significant adverse consequences, including the failure to fulfill obligations, repeated use in physically hazardous situations, as well as recurrent social, interpersonal, and legal problems. • There is a difference between abuse and dependence. When someone abuses a drug, that means they are using it without medical or legal consent. Dependence involves compulsive use. When someone is dependent on a drug, that means they actually crave the drug or that they literally need it.  

Types of drugs 11 types:
• alcohol • amphetamines • caffeine • cannabis • cocaine • hallucinogens • inhalant • nicotine • opiates • phencyclidine (PCP) • sedatives • hypnotics • anxiolytics (anti-anxiety effect)
12 if you include steroids:
• testosterone • other muscle enhancing substances
• Alcohol is a psychoactive substance, meaning it is a depressant to the central nervous system.   • Lowers inhibitions, impairs judgment, and it is highly addictive.   • It can damage every organ in the body, especially the liver, and it can also increase the risk of developing cancer. Amphetamines

• Include drugs that stimulate the central nervous system (opposite of alcohol) • Gives people a sense of confidence and enhancing self-esteem.   • It can increase alertness, concentration and energy, a few of the reasons why these drugs are so addictive.   • Types:  Methamphetamine & Ecstasy.

• Meth and Ecstasy are both cause psychosis.  They also cause relaxation and stimulation, which is why they are so addictive.

•Caffeine affects the central nervous system as a stimulant.   • It works by telling the adrenal glands to produce more adrenaline, resulting in having the feeling of being more energized.   • It is present in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and over-the-counter drugs such as Excedrin. Cannabis (Marijuana)

• Marijuana refers to the leaves and flowering tops of the cannabis plant. • It is also known as cannabis, pot, weed.
• Although sixty cannabinoids (certain chemical compounds) are found in marijuana, the psychoactive one that most affects the brain is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). •The THC level in marijuana has increased over the past quarter century from less than 2 percent to as much as 20 percent.   • Marijuana is commonly used or medicinal purposes and has been found to be beneficial in treating the symptoms of AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and other serious conditions.

• Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system.  
• It is extracted from the coca plant grown primarily in South America. • Cocaine, a white powder with a numbing sensation. It is either snorted or converted to a liquid form to be injected with a needle. • Cocaine in a pure smoking form is known as crack cocaine, and since crack vaporizes at smoking temperatures it provides more effect with less substance; so it works faster and more intensely than powder cocaine. • Cocaine is known as the “Rich Man’s Drug.”

• In powder form, it’s one of the most expensive drugs.   • Many believe that the powder form is non-addictive and it’s known to keep someone focused enhancing work.   • It is snorted or smoked by 1.9 million Americans.  

• Cocaine is so popular because it doesn’t cause loss of control or hallucinations...
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