Drug and Alcohol Abuse – Important topic of Class 12 Biology
Biology notes for Class 12 : Drug and Alcohol Abuse
What is a Drug?
In pharmacology (branch of medicine concerned with the uses, effects, and modes of action of drugs), a pharmaceutical drug, also called a medication or medicine, is a chemical substance used to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose a disease or to promote well-being.
In general, a drug is any substance (with the exception of food and water) which, when taken into the body, alters the body’s function either physically and/or psychologically.
Drug abuse is an extreme desire to obtain, and use, increasing amounts of one or more substances. Drug abuse is a generic term for the abuse of any drug, including alcohol and cigarettes. Drug abuse is not the same thing as drug dependence or drug addiction. Drug dependence or addiction indicates a psychological or physical dependence on the drug for the body function. Drug dependence shows the symptoms of withdrawal if the drug is discontinued, whereas drug abuse does not.
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Drug or alcohol problems (sometimes also called substance abuse or misuse) are a pattern of harmful behavior involving the misuse or overuse of substances for mood-altering purposes. This means that the drug or alcohol changes how a persona person who abuses alcohol has a greater risk of using at least one other substance, such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin. Prolonged consumption of drugs and alcohol increases the tolerance of a person, therefore requiring more of the substance to achieve the same desirable effects. People can even abuse cough or cold medicines from the store, if they ignore the directions and take too much at one time.
Alcohol and substance abuse can start out as a mild problem and gradually turn into more severe problems. For example, a person may mix small amounts of alcohol with a drug. Over time, their body becomes dependent on the chemicals released by each substance and begins craving more. After, a person develops a tolerance to both substances, he/she may increase the amount consumed in order to avoid experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. In these cases, some individuals may turn to more addictive substances – heroin, cocaine and ecstasy – to experience an intensified high.
Notes on the Dangers of Drug and Alcohol Abuse is available, click Biology notes for Class 12 for details.
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