Biology DRUGS


`star` Drugs
`star` Opoids
`star` Cannabinoids
`star` Coca Alkaloids
`star` Other Drugs and Drug Abuse
`star` Smoking and Tobacco Effects


`color{Violet}"Surveys and statistics"` show that use of drugs and alcohol has been on the `color{Violet}"rise"` especially among the `color{Violet}"youth"`.

This is really a `color{Violet}"cause of concern"` as it could result in many `color{Violet}"harmful effects"`.

`color{Violet}"Proper education and guidance"` would enable youth to `color{Violet}"safeguard themselves"` against these dangerous behaviour patterns and follow healthy lifestyles.

The drugs, which are commonly abused are `color{brown}"opioids"`, `color{brown}"cannabinoids"` and `color{brown}"coca alkaloids"`.

Majority of these are obtained from `color{Violet}"flowering plants"`.

Some are obtained from`color{Violet}"fungi"`.


`color{brown}"Opioids"` are the drugs, which bind to specific `color{Violet}"opioid receptors"` present in our `color{Violet}"central nervous system"` and `color{Violet}"gastrointestinal tract"`.

`color{brown}"Heroin"` commonly called smack is chemically `color{Violet}"diacetylmorphine"` which is a white, odourless, bitter `color{Violet}"crystalline compound"`.

This is obtained by `color{Violet}"acetylation of morphine"`, which is extracted from the latex of poppy plant `color{Violet}"Papaver somniferum"`.

Generally taken by `color{Violet}"snorting and injection"`, heroin is a `color{Violet}"depressant"` and slows down body functions.


`color{brown}"Cannabinoids"` are a group of chemicals, which interact with `color{Violet}"cannabinoid receptors"` present principally in the `color{Violet}"brain"`.

`color{Violet}"Natural cannabinoids"` are obtained from the inflorescences of the plant `color{Violet}"Cannabis sativa"`.

The flower tops, leaves and the resin of cannabis plant are used in various combinations to produce `color{Violet}"marijuana"`, `color{Violet}"hashish"`, `color{Violet}"charas"` and `color{Violet}"ganja"`.

Generally taken by `color{Violet}"inhalation and oral ingestion"`, these are known for their effects on cardiovascular system of the body.


`color{brown}"Coca alkaloid"` or `color{brown}"cocaine"` is obtained from coca plant `color{Violet}"Erythroxylum coca"`, native to South America.

It interferes with the transport of the `color{Violet}"neuro-transmitter dopamine"`.

`color{Violet}"Cocaine"`, commonly called `color{Violet}"coke or crack"` is usually `color{Violet}"snorted"`.

It has a `color{Violet}"potent stimulating action"` on central nervous system, producing a sense of `color{Violet}"euphoria"` and `color{Violet}"increased energy"`.

Excessive dosage of cocaine causes hallucinations.


Other well-known plants with `color{Violet}"hallucinogenic properties"` are `color{brown}"Atropa belladona"` and `color{brown}"Datura"`.

These days `color{Violet}"cannabinoids"` are also being abused by some `color{Violet}"sportspersons"`.

Drugs like `color{Violet}"barbiturates"`, `color{Violet}"amphetamines"`, `color{Violet}"benzodiazepines"`, `color{Violet}"lysergic acid diethyl amides"` (LSD), and other similar drugs, that are normally used as medicines to help patients cope with mental illnesses like `color{Violet}"depression and insomnia"`, are often abused.

`color{brown}"Morphine"` is a very effective `color{Violet}"sedative and painkiller"`, and is very useful in patients who have `color{Violet}"undergone surgery"`.

Several plants, fruits and seeds having`color{Violet}"hallucinogenic properties"` have been used for hundreds of years in `color{Violet}"folk-medicine"`, `color{Violet}"religious ceremonies"` and `color{Violet}"rituals"` all over the globe.

When these are taken for a purpose other than medicinal use or in `color{Violet}"amounts/frequency"` that impairs one’s `color{Violet}"physical"`, `color{Violet}"physiological"` or `color{Violet}"psychological functions"`, it constitutes drug abuse.


`color{Violet}"Smokin"`g also paves the way to `color{Violet}"hard drugs"`.

`color{brown}"Tobacco"` has been used by human beings for more than `color{Violet}"400 years"`.

It is `color{Violet}"smoked"`, `color{Violet}"chewed"` or used as a `color{Violet}"snuff"`.

Tobacco contains a large number of chemical substances including nicotine, an alkaloid.

`color{brown}"Nicotine"` stimulates `color{Violet}"adrenal gland"` to release `color{Violet}"adrenaline and nor-adrenaline"` into blood circulation, both of which raise blood pressure and increase heart rate.

Smoking is associated with increased incidence of `color{Violet}"cancers of lung"`, `color{Violet}"urinary bladder"` and `color{Violet}"throat"`, `color{Violet}"bronchitis"`, `color{Violet}"emphysema"`, `color{Violet}"coronary heart disease"`, `color{Violet}"gastric ulcer"`, etc.

`color{Violet}"Tobacco chewing"` is associated with increased risk of `color{Violet}"cancer of the oral cavity"`.

Smoking increases `color{Violet}"carbon monoxide (CO)"` content in blood and reduces the concentration of `color{Violet}"haem bound oxygen"`.

This causes `color{Violet}"oxygen deficiency"` in the body.

When one buys packets of cigarettes one `color{Violet}"cannot miss"` the `color{Violet}"statutory warning"` that is present on the packing which warns against smoking and says how it is `color{Violet}"injurious to health"`.

Yet, smoking is very `color{Violet}"prevalent in society"`, both among young and old.

Knowing the dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco, and its `color{Violet}"addictive nature"`, the youth and old need to `color{Violet}"avoid these habits"`.

Any addict requires `color{Violet}"counselling and medical help"` to get rid of the habit.