The Use and Abuse of Drugs 

  • Created by: LBC0502
  • Created on: 08-06-14 14:02
View mindmap
  • The Use and Abuse of Drugs
    • A drug is a chemical that alters the way your body or brain works (alters body chemistry)
    • Beneficial drugs: medicines, painkillers, statins prescribed by a doctor (could have harmful side effects.
    • Effects of drugs: side effects, interferes with other medicines, harmful if the patient has a medical condition or has taken drugs too often, heart attack, stroke (from statins).
    • Legal recreational (used for pleasure) drugs: caffeine, nicotine/tobacco and alcohol.
    • Caffeine is not harmful. Nicotine makes people addicted to tobacco/carbon-monoxide, causing cancer. Alcohol is harmful to the nervous system (violence/car accidents)
    • Illegal recreational drugs: athletes use performance-enhancing drugs (anabolic steroids) have harmful side effects/unethical. Stimulates muscle growth (unfair advantage).
    • Hard drugs: people experiment with drugs e.g. heroin/cocaine which are addictive. People who try to stop taking drugs have withdrawal symptoms.
    • Impact on health: alcohol and tobacco have a greater overall harm because they are legal/available/used often. Addictive (alters body chemistry/ dependent on drug/craving).
    • Cannabis is a painkiller for multiple sclerosis symptoms. Smoking cannabis causes mental health and leads to hard drugs, heart disease/stroke (illegal in UK).
    • By taking drugs, people also suffer from social problems and financial problems.
    • Testing New Drugs
      • Drugs are tested before being licensed. They are tested in the laboratory on animals and human tissue to see if they are toxic. Sometime trialled on humans (volunteers).
      • Thalidomide: developed as a sleeping pill between 1957 and 1961. Prescribed to prevent morning sickness.
      • Thalidomide wasn't tested on on pregnant women through clinical trials properly and has side effects on the body: birth defects/babies with short limbs.
      • Thalidomide was banned (doctors didn't check for pregnancies). 1980s-thalidomide used to treat leprosy.
      • How drugs are tested: on human tissue/animals, pass tests on humans (clinical trials).
      • Low doses given to volunteers, then increased. Volunteers are divided in to two groups: one with a placebo and another group with the real drugs
      • Placebo: A substance given to patients in drug trials; doesn't contain the drug.
      • Double blind trial (doctor and patients don't know which group has the drug) to make the trial fair.
      • At the end of the trial, the groups compare results to see if there was ny difference
      • If the drug causes no harm, it is licensed. If some new side effects occur, drugs are recalled even when they have been used on many people.


No comments have yet been made

Similar Biology resources:

See all Biology resources »See all Medicine and drugs resources »