Class 12 Biology Human Health Disease Drugs and alcohol abuse

Drugs and alcohol abuse

The drugs which are commonly abused are opioids, cannabinoids and coca alkaloids.

Opoids-

  • Opioids are the drugs which bind to specific opioid receptors present in our central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Heroin commonly called smack is chemically diacetylmorphine which is a white, odourless, bitter crystalline compound and is obtained by acetylation of morphine extracted from the latex of poppy plant Papaversomniferum
  • Heroin is a depressant and slows down body functions.

Fig.Papaversomniferum  

Cannabinoids

  • Cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors present principally in the brain.
  • Natural cannabinoids are obtained from the inflorescences of the plant Cannabis sativa.
  • The flower tops, leaves and the resin of cannabis plant are used in various combinations to produce marijuana, hashish, charas and ganja.
  • Effects on cardiovascular system of the body.

Fig.Cannabis sativa  

Fig. marijuana   

Coca alkaloid

  • Coca alkaloid or cocaine is obtained from coca plant Erythroxylum coca.
  • Coca alkaloid interferes with the transport of the neuro-transmitterdopamine.
  • Cocaine, commonly called as coke or crack .
  • It has a potent stimulating action oncentral nervous system, producing a sense of euphoriaand increased energy.
  • Excessive dosage of cocainecauses hallucinations.

Fig.Erythroxylum coca leaves  

  • Some plants withhallucinogenic properties are Atropabelladona and.

Fig.Atropa belladonna  

  • Drugs like barbiturates, amphetamines,benzodiazepines, lysergic acid diethyl amides (LSD) are used asmedicines to help patients cope with mental illnesseslike depression and insomnia, are often abused.
  • Morphine is a very effective sedative and painkiller is often abused.

Tobacco-

  • Tobacco conatins nicotine, an alkaloid.
  • Nicotine stimulates adrenal gland to release adrenaline and nor-adrenaline into blood circulation, both of which raise blood pressure and increase heart rate.
  • Smoking of tobacco is associated with increased incidence of cancers of lung, urinary bladder, throat, oral cavity, bronchitis, emphysema, coronary heart disease, gastric ulcer etc.

Fig. tobacco leaves  

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