Flashcards in B1.3 Use and Abuse of Drugs Deck (24)
A substance which alters the body's chemistry
The body becoming dependent on a drug and not being able to function without it.
Name and define three types of drug.
- Performance enhancing : drugs used illegally by athletes to improve performance in competition
- Medicinal : drugs used for medical purposes
- Recreational : drugs taken for pleasure
What are two types of performance enhancing drugs?
- Anabolic steroids : increasing muscle size
- Stimulants : increasing heart rate
What are the arguments against performance enhancing drugs?
- It's unfair to have an advantage by taking drugs
- Athletes may not be fully informed of the health risks
What are the arguments for performance enhancing drugs?
- Athletes have the right to their own decisions
- Sport is unfair anyway, different athletes have access to different equipment, trainers etc
Explain the process of drug testing.
- The drug is tested on cells, tissues and isolated organs to see if it is toxic
- It's tested on animals to see how it works in a whole organism
- Tested in low doses on a small number of healthy humans to see if it is safe in humans and to look for side effects
- If safe, tested on patients with the disease to see if safe and effective as well as to find the optimum dosage
- If the results show the drug is safe a license is granted for general use
What was thalidomide originally developed as?
A sleeping pill
What was thalidomide found useful?
Morning sickness in pregnancy
What were the side effects of thalidomide?
Babies were born with severe limb deformities
Why did the mistake with thalidomide happen?
It was not tested on pregnant animals/humans for use as a cure for morning sickness, it was only tested as a sleeping pill.
What could thalidomide be useful for in the future?
What are statins used for?
To lower the risk of heart and circulatory disease
How are clinical trials carried out?
- There are two groups
- Control group: given placebo
- Experiment group: real treatment
(Both are given in the same way)
- It is a double-blind trial : neither the patient/doctor knows which group is which
What is a placebo and why is it used?
- A tablet/injection without the active drug - to see how the patient's attitude and belief in treatment can affect how body responds
Why is a double-blind trial used?
Doctors may be biased and looking for a certain result.
What effects does smoking have on the body?
- Heart disease (smoking raises blood pressure)
- Tobacco smoke causes cancer
- Emphysema (tar causes air sacs to break down)
- Nicotine is very addictive
What effects does alcohol have on the body?
- Slows down the body's reactions
- Impaired judgement, poor co-ordination, unconsciousness
- Liver disease, brain damage
What effects can the misuse of illegal recreational drugs (e.g heroin, cocaine) have?
Adverse effects on the heart and circulatory system
What effect does cannabis have on the body?
The smoke contains chemicals which may cause mental illness in some people
What are the links some people make between cannabis and hard drugs?
- The effects of cannabis create a desire to try harder drugs
- Cannabis is a gateway drug - it brings users into contact with drug dealers
- Cannabis users are genetically more likely to do drugs anyway, so they will take harder drugs
What is the legislation on performance enhancing drugs?
- Some are illegal
- Some are available on prescription
- All are banned by sporting regulations
Why is the overall impact of legal drugs on health more than illegal ones on a population?
Because more people use them