Drug Identification and Investigation

THE CHEMICAL NATURE AND EFFECTS OF DRUGS ON THE HUMAN BODY

 

Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed by the introduction of a dangerous material into their bodies. This can be the result of either accidental or intentional contact with a chemical substance that alters the operation of any human system. It can be as simple as a reaction to contact with plants like the stinging nettle common to Florida or as complicated as a mixture of prescription drugs. Illicit drugs and narcotics, by their very nature are dangerous as they are produced by individuals with no medical background and consumed by individuals with no idea in many cases what the effect will be on them.

Toxicology also deals with natural materials which can be introduced from the environment. Plants and animals as well as some minerals and metals can  affect the function of the human body. The nature and amount of the material and the means by which it enters the body affects its overall impact on the system.

Eighth grade students will learn about the identification, chemical properties, and effects of these materials on the human body. They will also examine the chemical test methods used to determine the presence both in a quantitative and qualitative manner.

Each team of students will be asked to prepare a presentation exploring the nature of a particular material and explore methods of abuse prevention based on the facts they uncover.

Addiction: A chronic, relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and abuse and by long-lasting chemical changes in the brain.

Anabolic effects: Drug-induced growth or thickening of the body's non-reproductive tract tissues—including skeletal muscle, bones, the larynx, and vocal cords—and decrease in body fat.

Androgenic effects: A drug's effects upon the growth of the male physiology

Chronic: Refers to a disease or condition that persists over a long period of time.

Craving:  A powerful, often uncontrollable desire for drugs.

Drug abuse: The use of illegal drugs or the inappropriate use of legal drugs, or the repeated use of drugs to produce pleasure, to alleviate stress, or to alter or avoid reality (or all three).

Euphoria: An extended feeling of well-being or elation created by chemical interference.

Hallucinations: Perceptions of something (visual image or a sound) that does not really exist. Hallucinations usually arise from a disorder of the nervous system or in response to drugs (i.e. LSD). "Seeing things"

Medication: A drug that is used to treat an illness or disease according to established medical guidelines.

Physical dependence: An adaptive physiological state that occurs with regular drug use and results in a withdrawal syndrome when drug use is stopped; usually occurs with tolerance. The body wants it.

Psychoactive: Having a specific effect on the mind.

Relapse: In drug abuse, relapse is the resumption of drug use after trying to stop taking drugs. Relapse is a common occurrence in many chronic disorders, including addiction, that require behavioral adjustments to treat effectively. Repeat

Reward: The process that reinforces behavior. It is mediated at least in part by the release of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens. Human subjects report that reward is associated with feelings of pleasure.

Route of administration: The way a drug is put into the body. Drugs can enter the body by eating, drinking, inhaling, injecting, snorting, smoking, or absorbing a drug through mucous membranes or skin.

Rush: A surge of pleasure that rapidly follows administration of some drugs.

Tolerance: A condition in which higher doses of a drug are required to produce the same effect as during initial use.

 (what the body gets used to)

Withdrawal: Symptoms that occur after chronic use of a drug is reduced or stopped. "
Crash"

Drug Schedule

  I     Highest potential for abuse    No medicinal value    No quality control

 II    High potential for abuse       Limited or regulated medicinal use        Possible severe dependency

III    Potential for abuse     Current US medical use      Limited dependency

IV    Low potential for addiction     Current medical use        Very limited dependency  

 V    Very low or no addiction      Prescription required

OTC   Over-the-counter  No prescription required, but may be regulated for sale based on age or quantity

     

 Materials may be obtained from internet resources such as federal, state, and local government websites. Additional information may be obtained from community action or outreach groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), SADD, Alcoholics Anonymous, and clinical treatment centers.                       

http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/       National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/       National Drug Intelligence Center

http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/        Drug Enforcement Administration

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/       Bureau of Justice Statistics

http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SDFS/     Safe and Drug Free Schools Program

http://www.govtech.com       Government Technology

http://www.fda.gov     U.S. Food and Drug Administration

http://www.freevibe.com     Office of National Drug Control Policy media site

http://www.drug-effects.com     Narconon  Drug Treatment and Counseling

http://www.yic.gov/drugfree/drugeffects.html    Drug information page

http://www.whitehouse.gov   The White House - President Bush (search page)

http://www.drugstory.org    Office of National Drug Control Policy  media site

http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/nhsda.htm   Office of Applied Studies (National Survey)




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