A drug is, in the broadest of terms, a chemical substance that has known biological effects on humans.
Drugs possibly thought to be:
- A substance that is used as a medicine
- An illegal and often harmful substance.
Generally drug is any substance which changes the body’s function either physically or mentally. Drugs may be legal e.g. nicotine, caffeine, etc or illegal e.g. cannabis, heroin, cocaine etc.
A chemical substance that is used in used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental ability is called drug.
Drugs, such as nicotine, caffeine, painkillers, energy drinks and various prescribed andover the countries medications are legal. However there are certain laws that restrict their availability, quality and price.
Drugs such as cannabis (hash, bhang), heroin, cocaine etc are illegal. This means they cannot be subject to quality or price controls a person using illegal drugs can be sure how strong the drug is.
When drug is taken intentionally for pleasure or for relaxing without prescription that have numerous side effects rather than the healthy affects is termed as “Drug Abuse”.
Type of Drugs
Plant Basred Drugs
It obtain from the natural sources like plant or their leves are called natural drugs.
The natural drugs require no specific chemical process to extract them from the plant. Rather they are directly used as drugs. They are generally in the form of resins leaves, flowering or fruiting like Marijuana, Opium poppy, Hash etc.
Semi Synthetic Drugs
Semi synthetic drugs are those which require natural sources to be processed chemically to obtain drugs of abuse. They use is subject to chemical process either to modify or for isolation or extraction of their active ingredients.For example, heroin and cocaine is semi synthetic drug which are extracted using chemical processes from opium poppy and coca leaves respectively.
Synthetic drugs require control reaction of different chemicals to manufacture them. The reaction may be between precursors and other chemicals like reagent, solvents, solutes,
etc. We can say that synthetic drugs are artificial drugs. For example, ecstasy, ICE, Club Drugs etc.
Trend of Synthetic Drug
In recent demand of synthetic drugs has increased dramatically which is a threat to the new generation because these drugs are getting popular amongst youth, college and university student.
Another fact is that semi synthetic and natural drugs addicts are largely shifting towards synthetic drugs due to their less price and availability for example ice and other synthetic drugs.
Prescription drugs can be defined as the “Drugs Prescribed by a Doctor or Physician’s”. These are often prescribed by doctor on the basis of age, weight, nature of treatment etc. These include painkillers, sedatives, and anti-anxiety medications.
Prescriptive Drugs Abuse in Pakistan
In Pakistan, there are a large numbers of prescriptive drug abusers but those cannot be classified as addicted. Costly medical services, self medication and illegal use make this situation worse and which is the reason of large number of people using these medicines without any prescription.
Psychoactive Drugs (Psychotropic Substances)
Psychoactive drugs or psychotropic Substances are a technical terminology for psychiatric medicines or chemicals that alter chemical level in the brain which impact mood and behavior.
So psychotropic substance is a chemical substance which
- Acts on central nervous system
- Alters the working ability of mind
- Mood swings are also effects of psychotropic substances
Psychotropic Substances are commonly used for
- Mood Stabilizer
- Anti-anxiety Medications
How they affect the Central Nervous System
Psychoactive drugs alter communication between brain cells
Individual brain cells (neurons) communicate with one another through a series of biological messengers called neurotransmitters. These are released from the neuron sending the message and bind to receptors on the neuron receiving the message.
Clinical Psychologist Umar Raza