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NATS 1670 Chapter Notes -Fetus, Headache, Phlegm

Natural Science
Course Code
NATS 1670

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December 6 2011 Drug Use pp. 204 to 270
Understanding Drugs and Their Effects
DRUG: any substance that is taken to change the way you feel and function
DRUG MISUSE: taking the drug for a purpose or by a person other than that for which it was medically
DRUG ABUSE: an excessive drug use that is inconsistent with accepted medical practice (defined by the
World Health Organization)
Routes of Administration
- most common way = swallowing a tablet, capsule, or liquid
drugs taken orally do not have any effect for 30 minutes or more
- enter through the body through the lungs by inhaling smoke, gases, aerosol sprays, or fumes from
solvents or other compounds that evaporate quickly
- injected with a syringe
subcutaneously (beneath the skin) subcutaneous injection gets drugs into the blood stream
within 10 minutes
intramuscularly (into muscle tissue, which is richly supplied with blood vessels)
intramuscular injection gets drugs into the blood stream within a few minutes
intravenously (directly into a vein) intravenous injection gets drugs into blood stream
Dosage and Toxicity
TOXICITY: the dosage level at which a drug becomes poisonous to the body, causing either temporary or
permanent damage
- the effects of any drug depends on the amount an individual takes
- drugs are eventually broken down in the liver by detoxification enzymes
Individual Differences
- the enzymes in the body reduce the levels of drugs in the bloodstream; because there can be 80
variants of each enzyme, every person’s body may react differently
- genetic difference, personality and psychological attitude and a person’s mind set (his/her
expectations or preconceptions about using the drug) will have an effect
- medications and pharmaceutical products relieve symptoms and help cure various illness but
improper use can lead to hospitalizations and added health care costs for Canadians
What Should I Know about Buying Over-the-Counter Drugs?
- aspirin increases blood alcohol concentrations
can damage the lining of the stomach and lead to ulcers in those who take large daily doses for
- most often misused:
nasal sprays used to relieve congestion by shrinking blood vessels in the nose. If it is used too
often the blood vessels will widen and surrounding tissues become swollen therefore more
congestion and can result in complete loss of smell

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Laxatives if it contains phenolphthalein, it’ll irritate the lining of the intestines and cause
muscles to contract or tighten therefore making constipation worse.
Eye drops makes the blood vessels of the eye contract. If it used too often the blood vessels
will expand making the eye look redder than before
Sleep aids there has been little research on their use and possible risks
Cough syrup young people think of dextromethorphan (DXM) as a “poor man’s version” of
the drug ecstasy
Prescription Drugs
- Canadians reported the 4th highest per capita use of prescription narcotics in the world
- Canadians reported the 2nd highest use of sedatives-hypnotics
- Canada was among the top 15 countries in the use of prescription amphetamines
- Most frequent mistakes doctors make are overdosing or under dosing, omitting information from
prescription, ordering the wrong dosage form, and not recognizing a patient’s allergy to a drug
Nonadherence (not properly taking prescription drugs)
- many people have trouble understanding dosage information or cant read standard levels
- dangers include recurrent infections, serious medical complications and emergency hospital
Physical Side Effects
- serious complications that may occur include heart failure , heart attack, seizures, kidney and liver
failure, severe blood disorders, birth defects, blindness, memory problems and allergic reactions
- penicillin, aspirin, sulpha drugs, barbiturates, anticonvulsants, insulin, and local anaesthetics
provoke allergic responses
- allergic reactions range from mild rashes to anaphylaxis (constriction of airways and sudden drop
of blood pressure that causes rapid pulse, weakness, paleness, confusion, nausea, vomiting,
unconsciousness and collapse)
Psychological Side Effects
- among the medications most likely to cause psychological side effects are drugs for high blood
pressure, heart disease, asthma, epilepsy, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, insomnia and
- Corticosteroids, used for asthma, autoimmune diseases and cancer can cause different psychiatric
- Ulcer medications can cause delirium and disorientation
- Any medication that slows down bodily systems (many high blood pressure and cardiac drugs)
cause depressive symptoms
- All drugs that stimulate or speed up the central nervous system cause agitation and anxiety
Drug Interactions
- don’t drink a hot beverage with a medication; the temperature may interfere with the
effectiveness of the drug
- alcohol can change the rate of metabolism and the effects of many different drugs because it
dilates the blood vessels
Caffeine Use and Misuse
- it is the most widely used psychotropic (mind affecting) drug in the world
- 81% of Canadians drink coffee occasionally while 61% of Canadians drink coffee on a daily basis
- we drink an average of 2.6 cups of coffee per day
- coffee contains 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine per cup

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- tea contains 40 to 100 milligrams and cola about 35 milligrams per cup
- Health Canada recommends consuming no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day
- It acts as a STIMULANT: relieves drowsiness, helps in the performance of repetitive tasks, and
improves the capacity for work
- Consumption of high doses of caffeine can lead to dependence, anxiety, insomnia, rapid breathing,
upset stomach and bowels, and dizziness
Substance Use and Disorder
ADDICTION: refers to the compulsive use of a substance, loss of control, negative consequences, and
- psychological dependence occurs because it produces pleasurable feelings or relieves stress and
- physical dependence occurs when a person develops tolerance to the effects of a drug and needs
larger and larger doses to achieve intoxication
- those with a substance dependence disorder may use a drug to avoid to relieve withdrawal
- marijuana, hallucinations, and phencyclidine do not cause withdrawal symptoms
- those with a drug dependence become intoxicated on a regular basis
PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCE-ABUSE DISORDER: users that do not develop the symptoms of tolerance
and withdrawal that characterize dependence, yet they use drugs in ways that clearly have a harmful
effect on them
Intoxication and Withdrawal
INTOXICATION: refers to maladaptive behavioural, physiological changes that occur as a result of
substance abuse
WITHDRAWAL: the development of symptoms that cause significant psychological and physical distress
when an individual reduces or stops drug use
- type of behaviour when a user prefers a certain type of drug but also use several others
- those that enter treatment are averaging the usage of 5 different drugs
Coexisting Conditions
- “A little more than a third of those with a psychiatric disorder also have a chemical dependence,
and a little more than a third of those with a chemical dependency problem have a psychiatric
What Causes Drug Dependence and Abuse?
- inherited body chemistry, genetic factors, and sensitivity to drugs may make some more
susceptible than others
Biology of Dependence
- drug dependence is viewed as a brain disease triggered by frequent use of drugs that change the
biochemistry and anatomy of neurons and alter the way they work
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