IntroductionA Word from the Author
A Word from the Author
Many people, in search for a solution or an escape from their day to day problems, have looked to drugs as the answer.
Many don’t know the consequences that these vices will bring in the future.
The object of this work is to teach, demonstrating the types of drugs, how they affect the organism and what the consequences of using them are.
It should not be read only by drug users, but also by families and acquaintances of people who use drugs, and also by any person who is interested in helping someone else, teaching and informing them of the consequences that these vices may bring.
This subject affects everyone because it also deals with alcohol and tobacco, which are also drugs, a fact which many of us forget. These two drugs are considered legal; however, tobacco is one of the principal causes of death in humanity.
This material is a collection of information taken from scientific magazines, books and Internet sites.
I hope that it may be extremely useful and instructive and that it helps everyone to think a little more before succumbing to drugs, whether legal or illegal, and in this way avoid the severe consequences that this could bring to themselves and the sadness that could affect their homes.
Dr. Rogerio M. Baia
In medical terminology, a drug is almost a synonym of medicine. The term drug originates from the word droog (Ancient Hollandaise) which means dry leaf; this is because in the past almost all medicine was made from vegetables. Presently, medicine defines a drug as: any substance that is capable of modifying a function of living organisms, resulting in physiological changes or behavior. For example, an ingested substance constricts blood vessels (modifies a function) and the person undergoes an increase in arterial pressure (physiological change). In another example, a substance makes the cells in our brain (known as neurons) become more active, “triggering” more frequently (modify the function) an as a result the person becomes more awake, losing the sense of sleepiness (change in behavior). The following word is more complicated: psychotropic. It is plain that this word is composed of two others: psycho and tropic. Psycho is easy to understand, as it comes from a Greek root which means psyche(what we think, feel and do, in other words, what we are). The word tropic is related here with the term tropism which means attraction to. Therefore, psychotropic means attraction to the psyches and psychotropic drugs are those which act upon our brain, altering in some way our psyche.
However these alterations of our psyche are not always in the same direction. Obviously they depend on the type of psychotropic drug that has been ingested. And what are these types?
The first group are those drugs that diminish the activity of our brain, in other words, they depress the brains function, which means that those who use this type of drug will become “disconnected”, “unlinked” and become uninterested in things. For this reason these drugs are called Central Nervous System Depressors (CNS – the central nervous system is located within the cranium; the brain is the principal organ of this system.) A second group of psychotropic drugs are those that act to increase the activity of our brain, in other words, stimulate the function making the person that uses this type of drugs become “awake”, “electrified” and without sensation of sleepiness. For this reason these drugs receive the denomination Stimulators of the Activity of the Central Nervous System. Finally, there is a third group, constituted by those drugs that act modifying qualitatively the activity of our brain; however, it does not have to do with quantitative changes such as increasing or diminishing the cerebral activity. Here the change is in quality! The brain begins to act abnormally, and the user begins to have a perturbed mind. For this reason the third group receives the name, Alternators of the Activity of the Central Nervous System. In resume, therefore, psychotropic drugs can be classified in three groups, according to the activity that they exercise upon our brain:
1. CNS Depressors.
2. CNS Stimulators.
3. CNS Alternators.
-Hypnotics or somniferants (drugs that promote sleep): barbiturates, and some benzodiazepines
-Tranquilizers (promote calm and inhibit anxiety). The principal drugs that belong to this group are the benzodiazepines. E.g. Diazepam, lorazepam, etc.
-Opiates or narcotics (alleviate pain and produce somnolence) E.g. Morphine, heroin, codeine, meperidine, etc.
-Inhalants or solvents (glues, paints, thinners, etc).
Stimulators of the CNS
Alternators of the CNS
-Those of synthetic origin: LSD-25, “Ecstasy”, anticholinergics (Artane, Bentyl).
DON’T FIGHT ALONE
IDPF’s approach contains a three level solution for drug use, it covers education and prevention, specially within the school system, treatment and rehabilitation.