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Essay on Drugs and Abuse

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Drugs and Abuse


Abuse of drugs can have effects on the user even after the use of drugs has stopped.
Different drugs produce different effects, depending on the user, type of drug, and severity of abuse. New research is done every day in the area of drug abuse that makes finding accurate results on the broad topic of drug abuse very difficult. From the most recent studies only can one find data that is presently accepted as correct. These numerous studies provide enough data to explain the effects of both legal and illegal drugs.

To understand how drugs work, it is necessary to understand the changes that take place in different areas of the body when drugs take effect. Found in the brain are the synapses, the interaction point of two neurons (Perrine, 1996). The synapses in the brain are often the main target of a drug, altering the perception of something at the point of perception. When a drug is taken, it attaches itself to receptors in the brain, which have a pattern chemically similar to the neurotransmitters that send and receive messages in the brain. Perrine makes the analogy of a drug to receptors as a hand to a doorknob. Because certain drugs can attach themselves to these receptors, they may become blocked, and the neurotransmitters originally being sent by the brain's neurons are forced to wander around the brain until it can find another similar receptor, possibly creating a false signal (Perrine, 1996). The physiological responses created by these false signals, sent by both the drug and the extraneous neurotransmitters are what are perceived to be the effects of the drugs. However, the effects of drugs vary greatly from person to person. Perrine states that are four main aspects to keep in mind when cons...


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... "Hooked: Not everyone becomes addicted. How come?" Health 4: 38

Gordis, E.
1996 "Alcohol research: At the cutting edge." Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 53: 199-201

Kawachi, I.
1996 "A prospective study of coffee drinking and suicide in women." Arch. Inter. Medicine 521-525

NCADI
1998 http://www.health.org/dynatable/ndu.asp?5865941

Perrine, Daniel M.
1996 The Chemistry of Mind-Altering Drugs; History, Pharmacology, and Cultural Context American Chemical Society: Washington DC.

Peters, J.M.
1967 "Caffeine-induced hemorrhagic automutilation." Arch. Int. Pharmacodynamics 169: 141

RECER
1998 http://www.inform.umd.edu:8080/EdRes/Colleges/BSOS/Depts/ Cesar/drugs/ RECER

Rimm, E.B.
1996 "Review of moderate alcohol consumption and reduced risk of coronary heart disease: Is the effect due to beer, wine, or spirits?" Brit. Med. J. 312: 736-741


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