Difference between revisions of "Drugs"

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A '''drug''' is a substance which has an effect on the body or mind.  This may be a positive effect in the case of medicines or negative as is the case with most illegal drugs.
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A '''drug''' is a chemical substance that affects the processes of the mind or body, and a source of terrible [[addiction]]sThe term "drug" may be used to refer to, beneficial [[medicine]] (such as [[antibiotics]] and painkillers like [[morphine]]) or certain other legal chemicals such as [[alcohol]], [[caffeine]], or [[nicotine]] but may also refer to [[illegal drugs]].[[File:New-meds.jpg|thumb|280px|new prescription drugs prolong life]] All drugs share three properties: tolerance (the body getting used to the drug), addiction (the body's physical need to ingest the drug in order to maintain homeostasis), and withdrawal (the homeostatic imbalance resulting in the cessation of taking the drug). With legal drugs, especially over-the-counter, these properties are often too minor to be observable in ordinary circumstancesWith illegal drugs, these properties are by definition noticeable and often very harshThe Bible specifically warns against the use of recreational drugs, in Ephesians 5:18: "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."
 
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==Medicinal drugs==
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Since time immemorial mankind has noticed that certain herbs, extracts and other natural substances have positive effects on certain maladies.  With the advent of modern science, these have been better identified and tested, and many of the active chemicals involved have been synthesized.  A great example of this is aspirin (salicylic acid), which was isolated from the source for which it is named, the willow tree (Salix spp.), and then synthesized in the lab.
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There have been many steps along the way which have revolutionized medicine, like the discovery that certain fungi have an antibiotic effect, killing harmful bacteriaThe first identified member of this mow large family of drugs was penicillin.
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In the last few decades there have been tremendous advances in the invention and manufacture of wholly synthetic substances designed for specific pharmacological effects.  Two well known groups of these are the synthetic painkillers and anti-depression drugs (SSRIs)As the details and mechanisms of various ailments become better known, drugs that are more and more specific (having less side effects) can be engineered.
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==Legal drugs==
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see [[Pharma]]
 
==Illegal drugs==
 
==Illegal drugs==
Illegal drugs are drugs that the government has declared to be illegal. This is often based on a perception, true or otherwise, that such substances can potentially cause damage to a person's [[brain]] and other organs. Equally there is concern about the fact that most drugs cause [[addiction]]. There is much debate over the legalization of drugs, people on both ends of the political spectrum are advocating for some drugs to be legalized while others on both ends are advocating for tougher penalties for possession of drugs. Some new age [[hippies]] believe drugs can separate one's body from one's soul, and native Americans believe drugs allow one to talk to trees; current research <ref>http://www.psych.uiuc.edu/~bhidalgo/litreview.htm</ref> in neuroscience has shown that psychedelic drugs can be used to induce religious experiences <ref>http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health_medical/article1171389.ece</ref>.
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[[Illegal drugs]] are drugs which are prohibited by law. This is often based on the fact that these drugs cause damage to a person's [[brain]] and other organs, and that the drugs are highly addictive.  Many celebrities have become addicted to drugs that killed them; many more non-celebrities have also died at a young age from drug addiction.<ref>''See, e.g.'', [[Hollywood values]].</ref>
 
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Those in favor of legalizing drugs often argue that the negative social consequences, including gang warfare and the permeation of dangerously impure substances, are more to do with their prohibition than the drugs themselves. Indeed, before the criminalization of heroin in the UK it was no more than a trivial medical problem <ref>http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4647018.stm</ref>. Opponents of criminalization also point to the [[Prohibition]] experiment in the USA, where  the illegality of alcohol caused problems of gang warfare and unsupervised distilleries that made worse the very problem that prohibition was intended to solve.
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Further difficulties arise when various drugs are made illegal for political reasons; the most prominent of which being the outlawing of [[hemp]] to make way for the tree pulp industry. <ref>http://www.ylana.com/hempartc.htm</ref>
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==Illegal drugs in Britain==
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There are so many drugs on the streets of Britain, "not even the dealers know them all". Popular drugs on the streets of London include "Triple-sods", "Yellow Bentines" and "Clarky Cat".
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David Amess MP, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Basildon, warned against the dangers of an Eastern European drug called Cake, and went as far as to ask a question about it in Parliament. The drug affects an area of the brain called "Shatner's Bassoon" and is frequently referred to as "a made-up drug" (a drug not made from plants but made up from chemicals).
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Many people become addicted to legal drugs as well, especially alcohol, but also pain killers, anti-depressants, and nicotine.
  
All of this is actually from "Brass Eye", a UK television series of satirical spoof documentaries which aired on Channel 4 in 1997. None of it was true. David Amess MP was fooled into filming the video warning against the dangers of the fictional Eastern European drug called Cake. It was all a hoax.
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==Drugs and pregnancy==
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Drugs, both legal and illegal, have significant effects on babies inside the womb, so pregnant women should use all drugs with caution, and consult with their doctor about all drugs they are on.  Doctor/patient confidentiality protects women from legal prosecution if the doctor advises that they quit any illegal drugs they may be taking, so long as they comply.
  
==Legal recreational drugs==
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== In sport ==
A small number of drugs are legally tolerated in Western democracies. Examples include [[alcohol]], [[nicotine]] and [[caffeine]], whereas other drugs which have less adverse affect on the body, such as [[ecstacy]], are banned due to their social stigma.
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Some drugs can be used by athletes to gain a competitive advantage in many sports, including [[track and field]], [[cycling]], [[baseball]] and [[weightlifting]]. Drugs often abused in this way include amphetamines, steroids and EPO. Commonly known as doping, this practice is forbidden in almost all sports for two main reasons:
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* It is considered to be unfair.
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* While these drugs provide short-term physical benefits, they often do long-term harm, leading to shortened careers and poor health in later life.
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Nevertheless, there have been many high-profile cases of top performers being caught using drugs, including the sprinter [[Ben Johnson]] and the cyclist [[Tyler Hamilton]].
  
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==See also==
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*[[Atheism and drug addiction]]
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**[[Atheist Czech Republic and drug abuse]]
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
<references/>
 
<references/>
  
 
[[Category:Medicine]]
 
[[Category:Medicine]]

Latest revision as of 00:48, 18 March 2018

A drug is a chemical substance that affects the processes of the mind or body, and a source of terrible addictions. The term "drug" may be used to refer to, beneficial medicine (such as antibiotics and painkillers like morphine) or certain other legal chemicals such as alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine but may also refer to illegal drugs.
new prescription drugs prolong life
All drugs share three properties: tolerance (the body getting used to the drug), addiction (the body's physical need to ingest the drug in order to maintain homeostasis), and withdrawal (the homeostatic imbalance resulting in the cessation of taking the drug). With legal drugs, especially over-the-counter, these properties are often too minor to be observable in ordinary circumstances. With illegal drugs, these properties are by definition noticeable and often very harsh. The Bible specifically warns against the use of recreational drugs, in Ephesians 5:18: "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."

Legal drugs

see Pharma

Illegal drugs

Illegal drugs are drugs which are prohibited by law. This is often based on the fact that these drugs cause damage to a person's brain and other organs, and that the drugs are highly addictive. Many celebrities have become addicted to drugs that killed them; many more non-celebrities have also died at a young age from drug addiction.[1]

Many people become addicted to legal drugs as well, especially alcohol, but also pain killers, anti-depressants, and nicotine.

Drugs and pregnancy

Drugs, both legal and illegal, have significant effects on babies inside the womb, so pregnant women should use all drugs with caution, and consult with their doctor about all drugs they are on. Doctor/patient confidentiality protects women from legal prosecution if the doctor advises that they quit any illegal drugs they may be taking, so long as they comply.

In sport

Some drugs can be used by athletes to gain a competitive advantage in many sports, including track and field, cycling, baseball and weightlifting. Drugs often abused in this way include amphetamines, steroids and EPO. Commonly known as doping, this practice is forbidden in almost all sports for two main reasons:

  • It is considered to be unfair.
  • While these drugs provide short-term physical benefits, they often do long-term harm, leading to shortened careers and poor health in later life.

Nevertheless, there have been many high-profile cases of top performers being caught using drugs, including the sprinter Ben Johnson and the cyclist Tyler Hamilton.

See also

References

  1. See, e.g., Hollywood values.