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Background Reading 1

Drug basics

A drug is a c______ put into the body that changes mental state or ? chemical, bodily function
Ingesting a drug is usually the slowest/fastest? route to the brain and inhaling or intravenous injection is the slowest/fastest? route. slowest, fastest
If the drug is potentially lethal, then what type of administration is the most dangerous and what could it lead to? Rapid administration such as injecting or inhaling and it could lead to death.
Define Tolerance How the effects of drugs change with time as our body adapts to the drug
Define Withdrawel When drug use is stopped, the body works abnormally with the drug no longer being present.
Drugs that affect the brain are called? Psychoactive drugs
What are the three differences between a toxin and a drug? 1. A toxin causes bodily harm. 2. The amount you take, one dose can have good effect while higher dose of same drug can have bad effect. 3. Drugs are usually taking purposefully while toxins aren't.
Drugs work by attaching to a particular molecule called a _________? Receptor
When a drug binds to its receptor and activates it, the drug is called an __________? Agonist
A drug that attaches to a receptor but does no activate it is called what? By doing this what are they essentially achieving? Antagonist. They are keeping molecules that normally stimulate the receptor from getting to the receptor. Preventing the normal process from happening
The larger the does, generally, the bigger the effect, until the maximum is reached. This maximum is usually reached because...? All the receptors become occupied by the drug so taking more of the drug than this is pointless.
LSD = ? Powerful hallucination drug
Efficacy means? How well a drug does what it does, how well it changes receptor function.
Some drugs don't bind very well but a large enough dose can activate all available receptors very well. Other drugs bind very tightly but don't activate...? ... the receptor very well
Rather than disolving through skin, applying drugs to mucous membrane (the nose, mouth or rectum) is the most effective way to get the drug into the body. Why? Because the mucous membrane surfaces are much thinner and the capillaries are much closer to the surface.
Cocaine and amphetamine are absorbed well from what sites of the body? Nose (why people snort them), mouth, rectum.
What is the most efficient way of getting the drug into the bloodstream? Hypodermic syringe (putting it there directing). So drug is injected directly into the vein.
How long after injection can peak drug levels in the bloodstream occur? Within one or two minutes
What way of taking drugs is almost as efficient as injecting? Inhaling (smoking cigarettes)drug into the lungs. Almost as quick as injection
Why is inhaling so quick? The drug dissolves through the air sacs of the lungs and into the capillary. Cos the lungs have large surface area and drugs can move across large areas quickly and because the blood supply of lungs goes directly to the heart and then to tissues.
What type of drug can be inhaled successfully? Those that are very fat-soluble and form a vapor or gas when they are heated.
Describe "freebasing". When drugs are in their uncharged form (so that the nitrogen is uncharged and therefore has no positive charge from hydrogen ion). This is done using an alkaline (basic) solution). E.g. Cocaine and meth are crystallized from an alkaline (basic) solution.
What is the most common way people get drugs into their system? Swallowing
Drugs that are swallowed must pass through what? The walls of the stomach or intestine and then into the cappillaries.
A large part of a drug that is swallowed never gets distributed to the rest of the body because...? It is removed by the liver and destroyed.
For drugs to get into tissues it is no challenge as most capillaries have big holes so drugs are free to go into most capillaries. But the brain is an exception...why? Because it has an especially tight defence called the blood-brain barrier
Why do psychoactive drugs pass through the blood-brain barrier easily? Because they dissolve easily in fat
What drugs accumulate in fat ? Making them detectable in urine weeks after use. THC (active component of amrijuana and PCP (phencyclidine or angel dust)
How do drugs leave the body? A few drugs like inhalants enter and leave through the lungs, and most also leave through the kidneys and intestine. Many drugs are changed in the liver to a form that is easily excreted in the urine.
What determines how long the drug effect lasts? The process of metabolism and excretion in the urine.
Read about how cocaine can lead to overdosing... quick onset&rapid removal leads to cycles of taking drug repeatedly.Drug levels shoot up -> intense high followed by"crash"which motivates to take more. ->overdosing as user takes more as drug effect wanes but before earlier dose is completely eliminated
Give two examples of a drug that its effect actually become greater over time (rather than lessens with tolerance) Cocaine and antidepressants
Comment on tolerance with caffeine. Tolerance builds up slightly - regular coffee drinkers have smaller effects but this regular dose is not enough for the effect to go away entirely.
Comment on tolerance with heroin Tolerance builds up rapidly to opiate drugs. Long time uses can take doses that would have killed them the first time they used it. Tolerance can last for weeks or months
Go over the 3 ways that our body can become tolerant to drugs .....
What are the three ways that our body can become tolerant to drugs? Refer to reading for answer
When the drug is stopped/no longer present in body the tolerance adaptations that had occurred are counterproductive and this scenario is termed ...? Withdrawel
Describe the nasal decongestant example of withdrawal when we stop taking the drug for blocked nose When we stop taking drug, the blood vessels do not have normal number of receptors anymore. So the receptors left are not enough to do the job --> huge rebound of nasal congestion. nose is dependent on drug
Describe what happens when an alcoholic enters rehab and suddenly stops drinking. Alcohol acts as a sedative that slows the firing of neurons.So the brain makes mre receptors tht stimulate neural firing & decreases receptors tht inhibit firing.When drinking is stopped,the neurons are very excitable->overexcitation of NS->seizures/death
Created by: alice476