Thursday, 21 October 2010

What Drugs are

Whats Drugs are by Joseph McKenna Age 10 - Childwall Primary Juniors

drug, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function.There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law,government regulationsmedicine, and colloquial usage.
In pharmacology, a drug is "a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being." Drugs may be prescribed for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders.

Recreational drugs are chemical substances that affect the central nervous system, such as opioids orhallucinogens. They may be used for perceived beneficial effects on perceptionconsciousnesspersonality, andbehavior.] Some drugs can cause addiction and habituation.
Drugs are usually distinguished from endogenous biochemicals by being introduced from outside the organism.For example, insulin is a hormone that is synthesized in the body; it is called a hormone when it is synthesized by the pancreas inside the body, but if it is introduced into the body from outside, it is called a drug.

Many natural substances such as beerswines, and some mushrooms, blur the line between food and drugs, as when ingested they affect the functioning of both mind and body.

Drugs Controlled in the UK

Drugs controlled by the United Kingdom (UK) Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 are listed in this article.
These drugs are usually known in the UK as controlled drugs, because they are such by the meaning given to that term by the act itself. In more general terms, however, many of these drugs are also controlled by the Medicines Act 1968, and there are many other drugs which are controlled by the Medicines Act but not by the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The Misuse of Drugs Act sets out three separate categories, Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A drugs represent those deemed most dangerous, and so carry the harshest punishments. Class C represents those thought to have the least capacity to harm, and so the Act demands more lenient punishment. Being found in possession of a drug on this list is dealt with less seriously than would be if it were deemed that there is intent to supply the drug to others.Possession with intent to supply carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
With regard to lawful possession and supply, a different set of categories apply which are set out in the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (as amended). This sets out five schedules each with their own restrictions. Schedule 1 contains substances with no medicinal value such as hallucinogens and their use is limited primarily to research, whereas schedules 2-5 contain the other regulated drugs. This means that although drugs may fall into the category of Class A/B/C, they may also fall into one of the schedules for legitimate medicinal use. For example, morphine is a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, but when lawfully supplied falls under the category of a Schedule 2 controlled drug.

Drugs Addiction

Drug addiction is a pathological or abnormal condition which arises due to frequent drug use. The disorder of addiction involves the progression of acute drug use to the development of drug-seeking behavior, the vulnerability to relapse, and the decreased, slowed ability to respond to naturally rewarding stimuli. TheDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) has categorized three stages of addiction: preoccupation/anticipation, binge/intoxication, and withdrawal/negative affect. These stages are characterized, respectively, everywhere by constant cravings and preoccupation with obtaining the substance; using more of the substance than necessary to experience the intoxicating effects; and experiencing tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and decreased motivation for normal life activities.By the American Society of Addiction Medicine definition, drug addiction differs from drug dependence and drug tolerance.
It is, both among scientists and other writers, quite usual to allow the concept of drug addiction to include persons who are not drug abusers according to the definition of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. The term drug addiction is then used as a category which may include the same persons who, under the DSM-IV, can be given the diagnosis of substance dependence or substance abuse. (See also DSM-IV Codes)

The terms 
abuse and addiction have been defined and re-defined over the years. The 1957 World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Addiction-Producing Drugs defined addiction and habituation as components of drug abuse:
Drug addiction is a state of periodic or chronic intoxication produced by the repeated consumption of a drug (natural or synthetic). Its characteristics include: (i) an overpowering desire or need (compulsion) to continue taking the drug and to obtain it by any means; (ii) a tendency to increase the dose; (iii) a psychic (psychological) and generally a physical dependence on the effects of the drug; and (iv) detrimental effects on the individual and on society.
Drug habituation (habit) is a condition resulting from the repeated consumption of a drug. Its characteristics include (i) a desire (but not a compulsion) to continue taking the drug for the sense of improved well-being which it engenders; (ii) little or no tendency to increase the dose; (iii) some degree of psychic dependence on the effect of the drug, but absence of physical dependence and hence of an abstinence syndrome [withdrawal], and (iv) detrimental effects, if any, primarily on the individual.
In 1964, a new WHO committee found these definitions to be inadequate, and suggested using the blanket term "drug dependence":
The definition of addiction gained some acceptance, but confusion in the use of the terms addiction and habituation and misuse of the former continued. Further, the list of drugs abused increased in number and diversity. These difficulties have become increasingly apparent and various attempts have been made to find a term that could be applied to drug abuse generally. The component in common appears to be dependence, whether psychic or physical or both. Hence, use of the term 'drug dependence', with a modifying phase linking it to a particular drug type in order to differentiate one class of drugs from another, had been given most careful consideration. The Expert Committee recommends substitution of the term 'drug dependence' for the terms 'drug addiction' and 'drug habituation'.
The committee did not clearly define dependence, but did go on to clarify that there was a distinction between physical and psychological ("psychic") dependence. It said that drug abuse was "a state of psychic dependence or physical dependence, or both, on a drug, arising in a person following administration of that drug on a periodic or continued basis." Psychic dependence was defined as a state in which "there is a feeling of satisfaction and psychic drive that requires periodic or continuous administration of the drug to produce pleasure or to avoid discomfort" and all drugs were said to be capable of producing this state:

There is scarcely any agent which can be taken into the body to which some individuals will not get a reaction satisfactory or pleasurable to them, persuading them to continue its use even to the point of abuse — that is, to excessive or persistent use beyond medical need.
The 1957 and 1964 definitions of addiction, dependence and abuse persist to the present day in medical literature. It should be noted that at this time (2006) the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-IV-TR) now spells out specific criteria for defining abuse and dependence. (DSM-IV-TR) uses the term substance dependence instead of addiction; a maladaptive pattern of substance abuse, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by three (or more) specified criteria, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period. This definition is also applicable on drugs with smaller or nonexistent physical signs of withdrawal, e.g., cannabis.
In 2001, the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Pain Society, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine jointly issued "Definitions Related to the Use of Opioids for the Treatment of Pain", which defined the following terms:[
Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving.
Physical dependence is a state of adaptation that is manifested by a drug class specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, decreasing blood level of the drug, and/or administration of an antagonist.
Tolerance is the body's physical adaptation to a drug: greater amounts of the drug are required over time to achieve the initial effect as the body "gets used to" and adapts to the intake.

Recreational Drugs

Recreational drugs use is the use of psychoactive substances to have fun, for the experience, or to enhance an already positive experience. National laws prohibit the use of many different recreational drugs and medicinal drugs that have the potential for recreational use are heavily regulated. Many other recreational drugs on the other hand are legal, widely culturally accepted, and at the most have an age restriction on using and/or purchasing them. These include alcohol, tobacco, betel nut, and caffeine products.


medication or medicine is a drug taken to cure and/or ameliorate any symptoms of an illness or medical condition, or may be used as preventive medicine that has future benefits but does not treat any existing or pre-existing diseases or symptoms.
Dispensing of medication is often regulated by governments into three categories—over-the-counter (OTC) medications, which are available in pharmacies and supermarkets without special restrictions, behind-the-counter(BTC), which are dispensed by a pharmacist without needing a doctor's prescription, and Prescription only medicines(POM), which must be prescribed by a licensed medical professional, usually a physician.
In the United Kingdom, BTC medicines are called pharmacy medicines which can only be sold in registered pharmacies, by or under the supervision of a pharmacist. These medications are designated by the letter P on the label. The range of medicines available without a prescription varies from country to country.
Medications are typically produced by pharmaceutical companies and are often patented to give the developer exclusive rights to produce them, but they can also be derived from naturally occurring substance in plants calledherbal medicine.[citation needed] Those that are not patented (or with expired patents) are called generic drugs since they can be produced by other companies without restrictions or licenses from the patent holder.
Drugs, both medicinal and recreational, can be administered in a number of ways:
Many drugs can be administered in a variety of ways.