Drugs and Alcohol Abuse

Advertisement Remove all ads



Drugs and Alcohol Abuse: 

  • Surveys and statistics show that use of drugs and alcohol has been on the rise, especially among the youth. 
  • This is a major source of concern since it has the potential to create a wide range of negative consequences. This is a major source of concern since it has the potential to create a wide range of negative consequences. Youth could be protected from these harmful behaviour patterns if they were given the proper education and direction. 
  • The drugs, which are commonly abused are opioids, cannabinoids and coca alkaloids. The majority of these are obtained from flowering plants. Some are obtained from fungi. 

1) Opioids:  

  • Opioids are drugs, which bind to specific opioid receptors present in our central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract. 
  • The chemical compound diacetylmorphine, sometimes known as smack, is a white, odourless, bitter crystalline substance (heroin). 
  • Morphine is extracted from the latex of Papaver somniferous (poppy plant). It is a sedative or any painkiller. Used in surgery.  

2) Heroin:

Heroin, commonly called smack is chemically diacetylmorphine which is a white, odourless, bitter crystalline compound. This is obtained by acetylation of morphine, which is extracted from the latex of poppy plant Papaver somniferum. Generally taken by snorting and injection, heroin is a depressant and slows down body functions.

Chemical structure of Morphine

Opium poppy

3) Cannabinoids:  

  • Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals, which interact with cannabinoid receptors present principally in the brain.
  • Natural cannabinoids are obtained from the inflorescences of the plant Cannabis sativa.
  • Generally taken by inhalation and oral ingestion.
  • The flower tops, leaves and the resin of the cannabis plant are used in various combinations to produce marijuana, hashish, charas and ganja.
  • These are known for their effects on the cardiovascular system of the body.
  • Cannabinoids are abused by some sportspersons. 

Skeletal structure of cannabinoid molecule

Leaves of Cannabis sativa

4) Coca Alkaloid or cocaine (Coke or Crack): 

  • Cocaine is derived from the coca plant Erythroxylum coca, which is endemic to South America. 
  • It interferes with the transport of the neurotransmitter dopamine. 
  • Cocaine, commonly called coke or crack is usually snorted.  
  • It has a potent stimulating action on the central nervous system, producing a sense of euphoria and increased energy.
  • An excessive dosage of cocaine causes hallucinations.
  • Atropa belladona and Datura are two other well-known plants with hallucinogenic characteristics.
  • Barbiturates, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and other related drugs, which are typically prescribed to assist patients live with mental diseases such as depression and sleeplessness, are frequently abused.
  • Morphine is a very effective sedative and painkiller and is very useful in patients who have undergone surgery. 
  • Several hallucinogenic plants, fruits, and seeds have been utilised in folk medicine, religious rites, and rituals around the world for hundreds of years. 

    Atropa belladonna


5) Smoking: 

  • Smoking also paves the way to hard drugs. 
  • Tobacco has been used by human beings for more than 400 years. 
  • It is smoked, chewed or used as a snuff.  
  • Tobacco contains a large number of chemical substances including nicotine, an alkaloid. Nicotine stimulates the adrenal gland to release adrenaline and nor-adrenaline into blood circulation, both of which raise blood pressure and increase heart rate.
  • Smoking is linked to an increased risk of lung, bladder, and throat cancers, as well as bronchitis, emphysema, coronary heart disease, and gastric ulcers. 
  • Chewing tobacco has been linked to an increased risk of mouth cancer. 
  • Smoking raises the concentration of carbon monoxide (CO) in the blood and lowers the concentration of haembound oxygen. 
  • This results in a lack of oxygen in the body. 
  • Knowing the risks of smoking and chewing tobacco, as well as the addictive nature of these habits, both the young and elderly should avoid them. To overcome a habit, an addict will need counselling and medical assistance.
If you would like to contribute notes or other learning material, please submit them using the button below.
Advertisement Remove all ads

View all notifications

      Forgot password?
View in app×