Psychoactive Drugs Essay

547 words - 2 pages

Psychoactive drugs are chemical substances that alter mood, behavior, perception, or mental functioning. Throughout history, many cultures have found ways to alter consciousness through the ingestion of substances. In current professional practice, psychoactive substances known as psychotropic drugs have been developed to treat patients with severe mental illness.Psychoactive substances exert their effects by modifying biochemical or physiological processes in the brain. The message system of nerve cells, or neurons, relies on both electrical and chemical transmission. Neurons rarely touch each other; the microscopic gap between one neuron and the next, called the synapse, is bridged by chemicals called neuroregulators, or neurotransmitters. Psychoactive drugs act by altering neurotransmitter function. The drugs can be divided into six major pharmacological classes based on their desired behavioral or psychological effect: alcohol, sedative-hypnotics, narcotic analgesics, stimulant-euphoriants, hallucinogens, and psychotropic agents.Alcohol has always been the most widely used psychoactive substance. In most countries it is the only psychoactive drug legally available without prescription. Pleasant relaxation is commonly the desired effect, but intoxication impairs judgment and motor performance. When used chronically, alcohol can be toxic to liver and brain cells and can be physiologically addicting, producing dangerous withdrawal syndromes.Sedative-hypnotics, such as the barbiturates and diazepam (widely known under the brand name Valium), include brain depressants, which are used medically to help people sleep, and antianxiety agents, which are used to calm people without inducing sleep. Sedative-hypnotics are used illegally to produce relaxation, tranquillity, and euphoria. Overdoses of sedative-hypnotics can be fatal; all can be physiologically addicting, and some can cause a life-threatening withdrawal syndrome.Narcotic...

Find Another Essay On Psychoactive Drugs

Drug use in America Essay

1236 words - 5 pages popular with users because of their high concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is believed to be the chemical responsible for most of the psychoactive effects of the plant.The United States Government will not allow new drugs to be prescribed by a doctor or sold by a pharmacist until the drug has been thoroughly tested and proven to be medically safe. These tests take as long as years to be approved for public use. Unstable drugs are

Cannabis Essay

1299 words - 6 pages Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Borgelt currently serves as a clinical pharmacy specialist at the University of Colorado's A.F. Williams Family Medicine Center(Borgelt 195). Medical cannabis can create varying pharmacologic responses based on formulation, the cannabinoid compounds in relation to their cannabinoid receptors, and in patient characteristics. Common drugs created by properties of cannabis include Dronabinol and Nabilone. These

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

891 words - 4 pages Many of the problems associated with early sobriety do not stem directly from psychoactive substances. Instead they are associated with physical and psychological changes that occur after the substances have left the body. When a person regularly uses psychoactive drugs, the brain undergoes physical changes to cope with the presence of drugs in the body. When the drugs are removed from the body, the brain craves the drugs that it has become

Mechanisms by which a Psychoactive Drug May Exert Influence on Neural Processing

1764 words - 7 pages Psychoactive drugs can be defined as 'chemicals that influence consciousness or behaviour by altering the brains chemical message system' (Schacter et al, 2012). Different drugs can affect the brain in different ways either by intensifying or dulling transmissions. They will alter neural connections by preventing neurotransmitters bonding to the post synaptic neurons in the brain, inhibiting the re-uptake of neurotransmitters or enhancing the

Dangers of Synthetics

1687 words - 7 pages ). Another risk factor associated with the variability and lack of regulation of these dangerous drugs is that, unlike the highly-potent undeclared ingredients in these drugs, the psychoactive plants listed on the package are often nonexistent within the packaged material. According to Griffifth, Sedefov, Gallegos & Lopez (2010), although some herbal mixtures may contain the plants stated, most samples of these drugs tested appear to contain

Psychedelic Drugs.

2353 words - 9 pages Why do people use drugs? Virtually everyone in every society participates in the drug culture. There is a universal human need to alter ones' consciousness, thus resulting in an overwhelming amount of drug use cross-culturally. The relationship between humans and psychoactive substances is an ongoing one, and dates back to the origination of human life. A drug can be defined as any and all substances that alter the normal human state. These are

Drug Abuse What it is about and possible solutions.

3266 words - 13 pages alcohol (see alcoholism) and nicotine, contained in tobacco cigarettes. In addition, in recent years, chemists working in illegal, clandestine laboratories have developed new chemicals that have been used for the purpose of getting high. (These are called "designer drugs".) All of these substances are psychoactive. Such substancesÑlegal and illegalÑinfluence or alter the workings of the mind; they affect moods, emotions, feelings, and

Performance enhancing drugs in sports

1463 words - 6 pages . However, some of these drugs, such as cortisone and local anesthetics, are restricted on Olympic competition because they have legitimate clinical uses.There are many different kinds of Performance-enhancing substances. ?Anabolic Steroids are one of the most commonly used drugs of abuse. This type of drug is either taken by mouth or by injection. Mostly used for its muscle building effect.? (Thomas L.Schwenk, MD. (January, 1997). Psychoactive

Final Speech

879 words - 4 pages Evans McCarttTo persuade people to not do drugs. Drug abuse hurts the people who take drugs and the people around them, including families, kids, and babies who aren't yet born.Drug abuse also hurts the body and the brain, sometimes forever. Cocaine, cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. It is both a stimulant of the central nervous system and an appetite suppressant. It is most often used


577 words - 2 pages . Only theprohibition of marijuana, which some sixty millionAmericans have violated since 1965 has come closeto approximating the prohibition experience, butmarijuana smokers consist mostly of young andrelatively powerless Americans (American Heritage, pg 47).Alcohol prohibition was repealed andmarijuana prohibition was retained, not becausescientists had proved that alcohol was the less dangerousof the various psychoactive drugs, but because of

Education is the Best Weapon in the War on Drugs

2639 words - 11 pages even deter them from trying narcotics like crack-cocaine and heroin. Even though these people assert that legalization could diminish crime rate, they forget to realize that alcohol and nicotine are legal psychoactive drugs and have detrimental hazards on our society. Since these drugs are easily obtainable, they are more often used by people of all ages. Although education about nicotine effects decreased smoking in our country, the crimes

Similar Essays

Effects Of Psychoactive Drugs Essay

1590 words - 6 pages stream which will then go into the baby’s blood stream. The “maternal blood flows through the uterine arteries to the spaces housing the placenta, and it returns through the uterine vein to the maternal circulation” (Santrock, 2012, p. 80). This means that anything that enters into the blood stream will also affect the baby. Each type of drug is under a certain category. Psychoactive drugs are drugs that are constantly being studier. According to

Psychoactive Drugs And Their Effect On Consciousness

1093 words - 4 pages consciousness. Along with these age old questions, also came the use of psychoactive drugs and other mind altering substances. In order to try to understand these questions, humans have experimented with drugs that alter their state of consciousness. Psychoactive drugs are defined as chemical substances that affect the brain’s functioning, causing changes in behavior, mood and consciousness. There are several different types of psychoactive drugs

Health Promotion: Evaluating And Analysing Existing Campaigns And Creating Own Research Tools Ie: Questionnaire

1132 words - 5 pages ;"Limited access to psychoactive substances"Ø"Implementation of generally accessible treatment and rehabilitation programmes for person's experimenting with drugs and drug addicts"( 19/01/2003)The rationale they give for the target is as follows...".......the amount of illicit psychoactive substances such as amphetamine, cocaine, hallucinogens, cannabis type drugs has rapidly increased on the polish market

Drug Abuse Essay

4031 words - 16 pages high. (These are called "designer drugs".) All of these substances are psychoactive. Such substancesÑlegal and illegalÑinfluence or alter the workings of the mind; they affect moods, emotions, feelings, and thinking processes. Drug Dependence Drug abuse must be distinguished from drug dependence. Drug dependence, formerly called drug addiction, is defined by three basic characteristics. First, users continue to