Biology Week 28 - Day 3: Nervous System & Drugs

Drugs and Your Body

click to find the answer to today's question Many smokers say that smoking after a meal is relaxing. Does nicotine have this effect on the body? click for tobacco information

A drug is any chemical taken into the body that alters normal body processes.

click to learn about prescription drugs There are many reasons to take a "drug" into your body, some of them good and some of them bad. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for insuring that "consumer" drugs are safe. The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Website link to an Internet Website has lots of useful information.

All "over-the-counter" medicines have a label providing critical information. Understanding how to use this drug label link to an Internet Website may save your life.

What is the most widely used drug in the world? link to an Internet Website

 

Think caffeine is harmless? See stoned spiders. link to an Internet Website

1,3,7-trimethylxanthine,
better known as caffeine.

the structural formula for caffeine
C8H10N4O2

is an alkaloid found in coffee
link to an Internet Website tealink to an Internet Website and chocolate.link to an Internet Website

The amount of caffeine varies from beverage to beverage: link to an Internet Website link to an Internet Website

The actions of caffeine on the body include:

Caffeine produces a physical dependence in the body and total withdrawal from the drug causes one or more of the following symptoms within 12 to 36 hours:

  • headache (most common)
  • fatigue
  • drowsiness
  • anxiety
  • depression
Lab #1 link to an Internet website with useful information

Classes of Drugs: including the body's response to the drug.

  1. Stimulants: link to an Internet Website

    Can you solve the puzzle? Actions Examples
    Speeds nerve actions

    Increase heart rate

    Increase blood pressure

    link to an Internet Website Cocaine - C17H21NO4 . HCl
    link to an Internet Website Amphetamines - Methamphetamine
    link to an Internet Website Nicotine - C10H14N2
    link to an Internet Website link to an Internet Website Ritalin - Methylphenidate

  2. Depressants: link to an Internet Website

    Actions Examples
    Slows nerve actions

    Drowsiness

    Decreased coordination

    link to an Internet Website Sedative-Hypnotics
    • Barbiturates - (seconal and nembutal)
    • Benzodiazepines - (diazepam, "valium")
    • Tranquillizers - (methaqualone, "quaalude")
    link to an Internet Website Ethyl Alcohol - C2H5OH

    Using alcohol in combination with barbiturates is extremely dangerous. The combined effect of both drugs can slow the body functions to the point of death.

  3. Narcotics: link to an Internet Website

    Actions Examples
    Suppress nerve actions

    Decreased respiration

    Inability to concentrate.

    All narcotics are derived from Opium,
    however meperidene (Demerol) is a synthetic.

    link to an Internet Website Heroin, C21H23NO5 and other Opiates

  4. Hallucinogens: link to an Internet Website

    Actions Examples
    Disrupt nerve actions

    Perceptual distortions

    Altered senses

    link to an Internet Website Hallucinognes
          (D-lysergic acid diethylamide, "LSD")

    link to an Internet Website link to an Internet Website link to an Internet Website Marijuana
          (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, "THC") - C21H30O2

  5. Inhalants: link to an Internet Website

    Actions Examples
    These substances are toxic

    Disorientation

    Memory loss

    link to an Internet Website Inhalants

Two other "groups" of drugs:

  1. "Club" Drugs: link to an Internet Website
    The term Club Drugs refers to a wide variety of drugs being used by young people at dance clubs, bars, and dance parties. Different club drugs have different effects on your body. Some common effects include loss of muscle and motor control, blurred vision, and seizures. Club drugs like ecstasy are stimulants that increase your heart rate and blood pressure and can lead to heart or kidney failure. Other club drugs, like GHB, are depressants that can cause drowsiness, unconsciousness, or breathing problems.

    Club drugs like GHB and Rohypnol are used in “date rape” and other assaults because they are sedatives that can make you unconscious and immobilize you. Rohypnol can cause a kind of amnesia—users may not remember what they said or did while under the effects of the drug, making it easier for others to take advantage of them.

    Because club drugs are often produced in makeshift laboratories, it is impossible to know exactly what chemicals were used to produce them. How strong or dangerous any illegal drug is varies each time. Club drugs can kill you. Higher doses of club drugs can cause severe breathing problems, coma, or even death.

  2. Steroids: link to an Internet Website
    Steroids, also known as anabolic ("building") steroids,link to an Internet Website include the male hormone testosterone, and its artificial derivatives. Steroids are used for treatment of certain diseases such as specific types of anemia and cancers. Non-medical use of steroids is strictly illegal. However, because of their performance-enhancing properties, steroids have been illegally used by both athletes and nonathletes since the late 1950s to improve their athletic ability and to look better.

    Numerous health hazards are associated with short-term use of steroids. Long-term effects are largely unknown, but there is growing concern over possible psychiatric effects. Researchers report that steroid use can cause severe mood swings which can lead to violent behaviors. Users also may suffer from paranoid jealously, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility. Fatalities due to suicides, homicides, liver disease, heart attacks, and cancer have been reported among illicit users. Further, because the true quality of "off the street" steroids is not known, users place themselves at even greater risk for harm if they choose to use these.

 

Test what you've learned link to an Internet Website about drugs.

 

Are you vulnerable link to an Internet Website to stress?

A lot of what you learn "on the streets" about drugs is not scientifically accurate. Street knowledge can be useful in some ways, but not when it comes to the safe use of drugs. On the other hand, a lot of misinformation is provided by people wanting to encourage young people to not use drugs.

The information provided on this page is scientifically accurate.


Week 28 - Day 4

click to find the answer to today's question Who is generally affected faster by alcohol, males or females?

A drug that reduces pain.

 
Test your knowledge
link to an Internet Websiteabout alcohol.

 

Each of these contains the same amount of alcohol. link to an Internet Website
A 12 oz bottle of "6 point" beer, a 5 oz glass of wine, and 1.5 oz of 80 proof distilled spirits all contain about 1/2 oz, 12 grams, of ethyl alcohol, C2H5OH.
 

What is moderate drinking? link to an Internet Website     How much alcohol is too much? link to an Internet Website

Alcohol's Effects On The
Body Depend On:
link to an Internet Website
  • Body Size
  • Gender
  • Food
  • Medication
  • Sleep or Illness

Warning Signs
of a Drinking Problem.
link to an Internet Website

alcohol blood levels

According to the National Safety Council:
someone dies in an alcohol-related crash every 33 minutes. Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes killed nearly 16,000 people in 1998 alone (latest figures available). Alcohol is a factor in well over 1/3 of all traffic crashes.
 

 
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning link to an Internet Website

The Person May:

  • be unconscious and cannot be awakened
  • have cold, clammy, unusually pale or bluish skin
  • be breathing slowly or irregularly:
    • less than eight times a minute
    • or ten seconds or more between any two breaths
  • vomit, while passed out and does not wake up during or after
How Can You Help?
  • If you suspect alcohol poisoning, call 911
  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Keep trying to wake them
  • Turn him or her on their side
  • Watch their breathing:
    • If you know CPR, perform as needed
 

Drug abuse: link to an Internet Website the excessive use of any drug.

Drug addiction: link to an Internet Website link to an Internet Website

Tolerance: the body becoming less and less responsive to a physically addictive drug.

Withdrawal: the physical or mental reaction to lack of the drug.

Pathology of Drug Abuse: pictures of internal damage link to an Internet Website done by drugs.

 
Controlled Substances:

Federal trafficking penalties for hard drugs link to an Internet Website and marijuana. link to an Internet Website

Public Law 91-513, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, referred to as the Federal Controlled Substances Act, establishes groups of controlled substances for enforcement.

Five schedules of controlled substances have been defined as follows (the composition of these schedules may change by amendment to the Controlled Substance Act):

Day 4 Assignment - Nervous System & Drugs (Concept Understanding)

  1. What does caffeine do to your blood pressure?
  2. Is there a danger of getting cancer from inhaling lighter fluid?
  3. Nicotine promotes the release of a natural hormone in your body that inhibits pain. What is the name of this hormone?
  4. At what rate does the body metabolize alcohol?
  5. What does alcohol do to the nervous system that causes the "morning after" hangover and shakiness?
  6. THC is the "active" ingredient in marijuana. What does THC stand for?
  7. What is the maximum federal fine for an individual's first offense for trafficking less than 100 kilograms of marijuana?
  8. Marijuana is considered a schedule I controlled substance while Class A narcotics like opium are only class II controlled substances. Why is this?
  9. Use this website to answer the following drug abuse link to an Internet Website questions.
    1. Read the list of signs and symptoms of substance abuse on the first page and list the three that you feel are most commonly displayed by teen drug abusers.
    2. What do the pupils of the eyes look like on a person who is abusing narcotics?
    3. What do the pupils of the eyes look like on a person who is abusing stimulants?

Research Links:

Biology Class Nerves Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

Nicotine is a stimulant, increasing heart and breathing rate.
It is not relaxing, it has the opposite effect on the body. The reason a smoker feels relaxed is because of the body's physical addiction to the drug.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

Considering size and muscle mass, females are generally affected faster by alcohol than males.