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Drugs and Alcohol

When drugs and alcohol for taken for purposes other than medicinal or taken...

Drugs and Alcohol Abuse
When drugs and alcohol for taken for purposes other than medicinal or taken in amounts or frequencies that impairs physical, physiological or psychological functions, it is called drug abuse and alcohol abuse, respectively.

Opioids (smack is chemically diacetylmorphine):

  1. Source: Morphine is extracted from the latex of poppy plant Papaver somniferum.

  2. Mode of intake: By snorting and injection.

  3. Mode of action: They bind to specific opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) and gastrointestinal tract.

  4. Effects: Heroin is a depressant and slows down body functions. Morphine is an effective sedative and painkiller.

Cannabinoids (Cannabis sativa):

  1. Mode of action: Cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors present in the brain.

  2. Mode of intake: By inhalation and oral ingestion.

  3. Effects: Effect the cardiovascular system of the body.

Coca alkaloids or cocaine (Erythroxylum coca):

  1. Mode of intake: By sniffing and snorting.

  2. Mode of action: It has a potent stimulating action on central nervous system and interferes with the transport of neurotransmitter dopamine.

  3. Effects: It is a strong stimulant and when take in overdose cause headache, convulsions, hallucinations and death due to cardiovascular or respiratory failure.

Hallucinogens (Atropa belladonna and Datura):

  1. Mode of action: These drugs are called psychedelic drugs because of their effect on cerebrum and sense organs.

  2. Effects: These drugs effect thoughts, feelings and perceptions of an individual. Medically these are given to patient to cope with mental illness like a depression and insomnia.

    E.g., Barbiturates, amphetamines, benzodiazepines.


  1. Source: Tobacco plant.

  2. Mode of intake: It is smoked, chewed or used as a snuff.

  3. Mode of action: It has nicotine which stimulates the adrenal gland to release adrenaline and noradrenaline which in turn increases the blood pressure and heart rate.

  4. Effects:

  • It increases the chances of lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, coronary heart disease, cancer of throat, gastric ulcer, cancer of urinary bladder, etc.

  • Smoking leads to increase in carbon monoxide content of blood and reduces concentration of haem-bound oxygen, as a result of which oxygen deficiency in the body is created.

  • Chewing of tobacco causes oral cancer which becomes fatal in extreme conditions.


  1. Mode of intake: Oral intake.

  2. Mode of action: Alcohol has an anaesthetic effect on nervous system affecting cerebrum, cerebellum and other parts.

  3. Effect: It may cause euphoria, peptic ulcer, gastric carcinoma, hepatitis, liver failure, liver cell carcinoma.

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