Drugs

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What is a drug?

A drug is a chemical substance that affects the way that your body works.


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Types of Drugs

Medicinal: Cure illness or relieve symptoms

Recreational: Drugs that are taken for pleasure

Illegal: Very dangerous and can cause long term damage

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What do stimulants do?

Stmulants increase the release of chemicals across the synapse

  • Increased alertness
  • Give you faster reactions
  • Raised heart rate and blood pressure
  • Reduced appetite

E.g. Caffeine, Cocaine and Ecstacy

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What do depressants do?

Depressants slow down the release of chemicals across the synapse

  • Make you feel relaxed
  • Make you feel more sociable

E.g. Alcohol, Nicotine and Cannabis

Some depressants, such as heroin, also reduce pain

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Painkillers

Painkillers block the release of chemicals across the synapse

  • Stop pain
  • Reduce pain

E.g. Paracetamol, Ibroprufen and Heroin

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Hallucinagens

Hallucinagens change the release of chemicals across the synapse

  • You see things that are not real
  • You hear things that are not real

E.g. Cannabis and LSD

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What is addiction?

A person is said to be addicted to, or dependant on, a drug when they feel that they are unable to stop taking it

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What is withdrawal?

When addicts try to stop taking drugs they begin to feel very unwell

Symptons include:

  • Aches
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Headaches
  • Cravings
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The effects of alcohol

Alcohol affects the nervous system by slowing down reactions

  • It helps people relax
  • Too much can lead to lack of self control, inconsciousness and even comas
  • Long term abuse eventually damages the liver and the brain
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The effects of Nicotine

Nicotine is the addictive substance in tobacco smoke

  • This makes it difficult for people to stop smoking
  • Nicotine patches and nicotine chewing gum can be used to help people to stop smoking
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The effects of Tobacco smoke

Tobacco smoke contains caccinagens that cause cancer

  • The link between smoking tobacco and lung cancer has been known for about 100 years. This was gradually accepted by people
  • Tobacco smoke contains carbon monoxide which reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood
  • In pregnant women this can deprive the fetus of oxygen and lead to low birth mass
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The effects of Ecstacy, cannabis and heroin

Ecstacy, cannabis and heroin may have adverse effects on the heart and the circularitory system

Cannabis smoke contains chemicals which may cause mental illnesses in some people

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The effects of drug abuse

  • Peer pressure (encouraged more to do it)
  • Drug induced diseases
  • Criminal activity (E.g. Stealing)
  • Treatment is expensive
  • Weed smells
  • Anti- social behaviour
  • Onto benefits (Won't hold down normal jobs)
  • Passive smoking
  • Neglect
  • Normality lost
  • Isolation
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