Explain in detail the 4 principles of psychoactive drugs.

The four basic principles of psychoactive drugs are: a. Drugs, per se, are not good or bad. The use of drugs is not necessarily good, nor is it inherently bad.  In hospitals and other medical facilities, drugs are ordinarily administered for treatment and medication. Its purpose is to cure any illness or disease, which the patient is suffering.  Ideally, drugs are used for the good.

However, drug use may be viewed as bad when they are used excessively, thus serving purposes other than its curative aspect.  Hence, it is bad as tends to produce a counterproductive effect rather than serving a beneficial purpose.  Moreover, the use of illicit drugs has a causal relation to the commission of certain crimes.  Illicit drug users, in certain instances, engage in violent crimes in order to obtain money, which in turn is used to buy more drugs.

Every drug has multiply effects.

Effects from drugs use varies as it depends according to its use.  Some drugs have shown to produce a curative effect.   Drugs are preferably administered in the body to treat an illness or disease.  Others such as recreational drugs, however, could be used by certain individuals to obtain an altered state of consciousness. c. Both the size and quality of a drug's effect depend on the amount the individual has taken. Effects from drugs use also depends upon the dosage administered.  Its effects are greatly influenced by the quantity and quality of drugs applied.  Increasing the dose would result in a corresponding increase in its effect.

The effect of any psychoactive drug depends on the individual's history and expectations.

From the depths of time, man has already used psychoactive drugs to prevent and cure illnesses.  Man has also used these drugs to gain control over their bodies.  Today, with the modern advancements of science and pharmacology, these drugs have served both therapeutic and recreational purposes.

EXPLAIN IN DETAIL WHAT THE NATIONAL SURVEY ON DRUG USE AND HEALTH AND THE SURVEY GIVEN ANNUALLY TO 12TH GRADERS TELL US ABOUT MARIJUANA USE?

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana remains to be the drug persistently used despite efforts to curb it. Its annual data provides that at least 41% of about 35.7 million annual illicit drug users use marijuana.  At least 71% of annual marijuana users are white while blacks and Hispanics account for 14% and 11%, respectively. Although marijuana is still a serious problem among teenagers, it is not the primary cause teenage drug problem.  The survey adds that marijuana use results in the exposure of adolescents to far more dangerous drugs.

DISCUSS IN DETAIL THE FOUR PHARMACOLOGICAL REVOLUTIONS. DESCRIBE IN DETAIL HOW THESE EVENTS HAVE AFFECTED OUR SOCIETY TODAY.

The first pharmacological revolution brought about the use of vaccines.  The advent of vaccination convinced the public that medicines are capable of producing beneficial effects by preventing communicable diseases from spreading.  With vaccines, small pox, diphtheria, polio and whooping cough were placed under control.  Measles, mumps and tetanus are now easily prevented. In the second pharmacological revolution, antibiotics were prevalently used to cure as well as prevent dreaded diseases.  “Sulfa” drugs, penicillin and others were used to treat infections.  Today, a physician would regularly prescribe antibiotics as an effective cure for serious illnesses.

The third pharmacological revolution brought about the introduction of antipsychotic drugs, which are used to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.  These drugs helped cure mental illnesses, which in turn freed a lot of patients from long-term confinement in mental institutions.  The development of psychopharmacology instilled in the public’s consciousness that drugs can affect our emotions, perceptions and mental processes.  This also paved the way for psychedelic experimentations prevalent during the 1960 and 1970s.

Oral contraceptives developed during the fourth pharmacological revolution, which in turn contributed to the sexual revolution in the 1960s and 1970s.  With contraceptives, a woman may engage in sex without fear of pregnancy.  These chemicals, labelled as drugs, were not used to treat disease but rather, they were being used by people in order to gain control over certain natural bodily processes and reactions.

EXPLAIN IN DETAIL THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POLITICS AND DRUG USE/ ABUSE IN THE U.S.

During the 1900s, drug misuse played a role in the legislation of statutes.  These laws were enacted in order to regulate the activities relating to the use of drugs.   Activities sought to be curbed by these laws are the fraudulent therapeutic claims in patent medicines that were sold directly to the public.  Laws were also passed against the importation of illicit drugs like opium and cocaine.

Furthermore, these statutes require accurate labelling and listing of ingredients, not to mention the rigid standards set for safety testing. The common denominator among these laws is that it sought to control the dissemination of drugs by placing it under the federal jurisdiction.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST THE FOLLOWING TERMS: DRUG USE, DRUG ABUSE, DRUG ADDICTION AND TOLERANCE.

Drug use involves the administration of chemicals into the body for treatment of illnesses.  However, it is not limited to therapeutic purposes.  Drugs are also ingested for non-medical purposes. In certain instances, psychoactive drugs are administered for recreational purposes in addition to medical or spiritual purposes.  In this respect, drug use that is not common or is not generally accepted within a social group is known to be deviant. Drug abuse refers to the substance use that is excessive or greater in amounts other than those prescribed or intended, or under circumstances such that it causes social, occupational, psychological or physical problems.

In drug addiction, there is a physical or psychological dependence on chemical substances for normal functioning.  It involves a recurring obsession for drugs.  An addicted person uses a drug so frequently that his body is adapted to the drug’s presence, and there is a recurring craving for it.

Accordingly, drug addiction is generally linked with increased drug tolerance. In drug tolerance, regular drugs users develop a certain degree of tolerance to the extent that their dosage would kill a novice user.  The former’s body has already developed ways to adjust for the chemical imbalance resulting from the repeated use of the same drug.

EXPLAIN IN DETAIL THE CONCEPT OF TOXICITY AND ALCOHOL ABUSE. IN WHICH WAY COULD FOOD BE CONSIDERED TOXIC? WHAT ARE THE ACUTE AND CHRONIC EFFECTS OF EACH?

Toxicity refers to the poisonous, deadly and dangerous intoxication, which impairs the actions of drug users.  It also describes the degree of toxic effect over the drug user. The level of toxicity depends on the amount of drug used, how it is used and what the user did while under the influence of the drug.  In severe case, toxicity levels may reach up to degrees, which expose the drug user to danger.  Overdosed levels of drug use may cause the user to stop breathing.

Drug-related toxicity includes behavioural and physiological chronic toxicity.  The behavioural aspect involves personality and lifestyle changes.  It also affects on the user’s relations with family and friends. Physiological toxicity, on the other hand, may result to heart disease, lung cancer, cirrhosis and other similar diseases.

Alcohol abuse is the consumption of alcoholic drinks beyond moderation.  It involves excessive alcohol consumption, which may result to unconsciousness, or even death, aside from damage to vital organs.  From this, a significant correlation with alcoholism exists between alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

EXPLAIN THE FDA APPROVAL PROCESS FOR DEVELOPING NEW DRUGS. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF EACH?

The first stage in the FDA Approval Process is the Preclinical Testing.  During the six-year period, drug manufacturers will complete the synthesis and purification of the drug.  It will also conduct a limited animal testing within the same period. If the Investigational New Drug Application (IND) is approved by the FDA, the drug manufacturer may begin the first phase of development.

In the first phase of IND, clinical trials are conducted upon individuals to find out the drug’s basic properties and safety profile in humans. Phase II involves efficacy trials as the drug is administered to volunteers of the target population.  At the end of this phase, the drug manufacturer will meet up with the FDA to discuss the development process, and continued testing on human subjects.  Also, they will also talk about the procedures for Phase III.

Extensive drug development will culminate in Phase III.  Once this phase is complete, the drug manufacturer will submit a new drug application.  NDA Review usually lasts one to two years.  This stage brings about total drug development and its approval. Once the NDA is approved, the drug may be marketed with FDA regulated labelling.  If there are serious side effect, which appear to adverse, the FDA may withdraw the drug from the market.

Extensive development and testing is beneficial as it would ascertain the drug’s reliability.  However, prolonged testing processes might result in expenses incurred by the manufacturer. 

COMPARE AND CONTRAST THE ROUTES OF DRUG ADMINISTRATION.

There are several routes of drug administration.  Intravenous injection is the most commonly used method among heroin and amphetamine drug users.  With this method, large quantities of the drug are administered and quickly transported to the brain, thus maximizing its effect. Another method is the femoral injection in which the drug is injected through the femoral artery found in the thighs.  This is usually resorted to when injection on the veins in the arms becomes difficult, impossible or dangerous.

Intramuscular injection is often resorted to in order to administer medicines.  This type of injection is not recommended because it often leaves muscle stiffness.  Steroids are injected this way.

A subcutaneous injection is synonymous to skin popping, and is resorted to by those having difficulty in accessing the veins.  This type of injecting is damaging to the surrounding skin.  Of all injecting routes, this has the slowest drug absorption into the bloodstream.

Arterial injection is method of injecting the drug into the blood stream.  This is discouraged as it may cause the weakening of the artery wall or its fungal infection, which are both life-threatening.

There are alternatives to injecting:

   -- smoking,

   -- rectal, or the taking of drugs through the anus,

   -- sniffing, and

   -- swallowing,

DESCRIBE IN DETAIL THE CLASSIFICATIONS OF PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS.

Psychoactive drugs are classified into four broad categories: 

(1) Sedatives and Hypnotics

These drugs are designed to inhibit brain function and activity, thus leading to drowsiness or sleep.  They also relieve anxiety and lower the levels of inhibition. Sedatives are addictive and may lead to dependency if consistently used.  Common examples of these kinds of drugs are valium, antihistamines, anesthetics and alcohol.

(2) Stimulants

This kind of drug produces behavioural arousel.  Stimulants include amphetamine, cocaine, antidepressants, nicotine and coffee.

(3) Opiates

Opiates produce relief from pain and a sense of euphoria.  They are highly addictive in nature.  An example of this type of drug is the opium, which contains the ingredients of morphine and codeine. 

(4) Hallucinogens and Psychedelics.

These types of drugs are non-lethal even if ingested in large doses.  Its primary effect is to induce hallucinations.  Drugs that alter norepinephrine transmission include mescaline while LSD alters the serotonin transmission.   Marijuana is also classified as a psychedelic as its high doses produce sensory distortions.

WHAT ARE YOUR PREDICTIONS CONCERNING THE UPCOMING ELECTION FOR PRESIDENT? 

I think John McCain will win this upcoming presidential election.  Although Barack Obama is a strong foe, I believe the Republican will win this one.