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What is Drug?
When a pharmaceutical preparation or naturally occurring substance is used primarily to bring about a change in some existing process or state (Psychological, Physiological or Biochemical) it can be called a Drug.

In Simpler terms any chemical that alters the physical or mental functioning of an individual is a Drug.

Difference between drug use and drug abuse
When drugs are used to cure an illness, prevent a disease or improve the health condition, it is termed “Drug use”.

When drugs are taken for the reason other than medical, in an amount, strength, frequency or manner that damages the physical or mental functioning of an individual, it becomes drug “Abuse.”

Drug abuse of medical drugs
Drugs with medical use can be abused in the following ways.
Too much
Taking an increased doses without medical advice.
Too often
Taking small doses frequently
Too long
Taking an drug for an extended period of time – longer than the prescribed period.

Wrong use
Taking a drug for reason other than medical, for which it is intended or taking a drug without medical advice. Wrong combination

Taking a drug in combination with certain other drugs.

Illegal drugs like Brown–Sugar and opium have no medical use at all, With these drugs there is no drug use, to use them is to abuse them.

Drug abuse and drug addiction

Classification of addictive drugs
Addictive drugs can be classified into five major categories according to their effects on the user.

Narcotic Analgesics

Drugs belonging to this category can be studied under three broad categories
Drugs belonging to this category can be studied under three broad categories


Narcotic of natural origin

Morphine is principal alkaloid that is extracted from opium about 10 to 15 % of opium contains morphine. It is one of the most effective drugs for relief of pain.

Routes of administration

Codeine is another alkaloid found in opium, 1 to 2 %. Codeine is used in cough – suppressant drugs and anti diarrhoeal preparations.

Route of administration

Semi synthetic narcotics

Synthetic Narcotics

Routes of administration


Short term effects of narcotic analgesics
When injected, the effects are immediate and pronounced. The main effects include

Narcotic Analgesics – Long term effect

Withdrawal symptoms

Symptoms after 8–12 hours after the last dose

Symptoms after 48–72 hours after the last dose

Withdrawal symptoms intensify and reach their peak, the patient becomes weak and depressed.


Route of administration

Short term effects of stimulants
The main effects include


Amphetamines are synthetic drugs.
Amphetamines are white, odorless, crystalline powder with bitter taste they are supplied loose or in the form of capsule or tablets.

Amphetamines are used abused by

Route of administration
Oral–generally taken in the form of tablets and capsules

Cocaine, g class="subtitle">Long term effects of stimulants

Withdrawal symptoms of stimulant


Depressants are drugs which depress or slow down the functions of central nervous system.

The drugs include

Sedative– hypnotics
Sedative – hypnotics are non–narcotic depressant drug, Barbiturates and Benzodiazipines are two main drugs that fall into this category

Barbiturates are medically prescribed for sedation and to induce sleep.

Routes of administrative
Orally in the form of tablets and capsules.


Routes of administration
Oral in the form of capsules and tablets

Generic name Trade name
Dizapham Valium, Calmpose
Chlordizapoxide Librium
Alprazolam Alprex,Trika
Iorazapam Ativan

Short term effects of Depressants
Sedative hypnotics produce similar effects to that of alcohols. The Main effect includes

Long term effect of Depressants

Withdrawals symptoms of Depressants


Hallucinogens are drugs which dramatically affects perception, emotions and mental processes.

As they distort the perception of the objective reality and produce hallucinations, these are known as hallucinogens. Hallucinogens are also referred to as ‘Psychedelic’ (Mild altering) drugs

The common hallucinogens are

LSD (Lysergic acid Di ethylamide)
LSD is a semi synthetic drug and the most powerful hallucinogen. It is produced from lysergic acid. LSD is white odorless, crystalline material, which is soluble in water.

Route of administration

PCP (Phencyclidine)
PCP is commonly called angel’s dust. PCP in its purest form is a white crystalline powder, which easily dissolve in water.

Route of administration
It is snorted, smoked, eaten and rarely taken intravenously.

Short term effects of hallucinogen
The main effects include

Long term effect of hallucinogen

Flash backs or spontaneous recurrences of an LSD experience can occur without warning for upto one year after LSD use.

Amotivational syndrome– the user becomes very apathetic, is very passive and shows no interest in life.

LSD Precipitated psychosis– acute panic reaction which can occur may lead the user into a stage of drug induced psychosis.

The psychotic episode normally lasts for several hours but in some cases it may last for years.


Main drugs under this category

Short term Effects

Long Term Effects