Drugs: Caffeine and Drugs Essay

Submitted By jmargolis19
Words: 1340
Pages: 6

The Use and Abuse of Drugs

Drugs:

What is a drug?

A drug can be any substance/chemical you take that effects the way your body works and what it does. A drug will pass from your body into your brain. When drugs are inside your brain, they can change the messages brain cells are sending to each other or/and to the rest of your body. They do this by interfering and therefore changing the brains chemical signals. These are neurotransmitters that transfer signals across synapses.

The affect of different drugs:

Prescribed Drugs:

You must finish a prescription when you have bee given one. This is because if you stop taking it early (maybe you feel better) you will not have killed of all the bad bacteria. This bacteria will then be immune to the drug and will multiply and become a super virus.

Illegal/Harmful Drugs:

These types of drugs fit in to three categories which are: stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens. Stimulants make you very energetic. Depressants make you feel relaxed while Hallucinogens make reality seem distorted and you may hallucinate.

It is a bad choice to take drugs when you haven't been told by someone with knowledge of drugs as you are unlikely to be aware of the consequences.

Addiction is when you do something many times despite the apparent bad consequences. With drugs this may be that you have become addicted to an illegal drug and (although aware of the bad result) you continue.

Legal Drugs:

Statins:

Statins are drugs that are taken in an attempt to lower cholesterol levels. This is done as it blocks a key enzyme in cholesterol production. They are used most commonly to prevent cardiovascular decease. When taking statins you will become subject to a mildly larger risk of diabetes and abnormality in liver enzyme tests.

Thalidomide:

According to wikipedia, the definition of Thalidomide is 'a drug formerly used as a sedative, but withdrawn in the UK in the early 1960s after it was found to cause congenital malformation or absence of limbs in children whose mothers took the drug during early pregnancy. '

Pros:

It was once used to soothe morning sickness of pregnant women.

Possible anti-cancer agent.

Cons:

Thalidomide was classified as a defective drug after causing deformities of babies belonging to pregnant mothers with morning sickness.

Developing New Drugs – Drug Trials:

The stages involved in testing new drugs:

Drugs must be tested before use to make sure they are not harmful.

1. Drugs will be tested using computer models or/and human cells that are grown in a lab. Most substances fail this as either they damage cells or have no impact.

2. Drugs that can pass this are then tested on animals (there is much debate as to whether this is morally right as it is a double blind trial so scientists are risking the health of the animals involved). It must be noted that it is illegal to test tobacco and cosmetic products on animals.

3. After this the drugs are tested on healthy volunteers to see if there are any side effects.

4. Finally they are tested on someone who is actually ill and may need the drug.

This does not prevent all risk as there are often still side effects however, it lowers the chance by a considerable number.

Testing a new drug is very important as it reduces risk of side effects. Many people have avoided bad side effects due to testing although animals are often victims of testing. Placebo's will therefore be given to humans with a much lower chance of side effects.

Legal Recreational Drugs:

What are the effects of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine?

Alcohol:

Short term effects can be low energy and sexual difficulties however, the long term effects are much more severe: heart decease and cancer are two that can be a result of large alcohol consumption.

Effects on different parts of the body:

Brain:

Short Term:

Depression and anxiety.

Long Term:

Memory Loss.

Stomach:

Short…