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Effects of Drugs How Drugs Work - Oak Park Independent · PDF file short-term effects - impairs judgement, coordination, reaction time long-term effects - reduction in brain mass,

Oct 05, 2020




  • 33.4 Effects of Drugs

    Effects of Drugs Section 33.4

    How Drugs Work · drug - a substance, natural or artificial, that alters the function of the body

    ex. antibiotics, over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, cocaine, marijuana, caffeine

    · drugs that affect the nervous system... 1. increase amount of neurotransmitter

    released into synapse 2. prevent neurotransmitters from binding to a

    dendrite by blocking receptor site 3. prevent a neurotransmitter from leaving a

    synapse 4. imitate a neurotransmitter

    Dopamine · a neurotransmitter · involved with control of body movements and other functions, and with feelings of pleasure and reward

    "feel good" hormone · excess dopamine is reabsorbed by the neuron that released it · many drugs that affect the NS influence the level of dopamine

    Stimulants · drugs that increase alertness and physical activity · nicotine

    increases amount of dopamine released into synapse

    constricts blood vessel, raises blood pressure, makes heart work harder

    linked to lung cancer · caffeine - most commonly used

    binds to adenosine receptors on neurons in brain

    - adenosine slows down brain making you drowsy

    caffeine blocks adenosine and gives you a burst of energy

    temporarily raises epinephrine (adrenaline) levels

    Depressants · drugs that slow down NS, lower blood pressure, interrupt breathing, slow heart rate, relieve anxiety, make you sleepy · alcohol

    affects at least 4 neurotransmitters short-term effects - impairs judgement, coordination,

    reaction time long-term effects - reduction in brain mass, liver damage,

    stomach and intestinal ulcers, high blood pressure · inhalants - chemical fumes

    short-term effects - intoxication, nausea, vomiting, death long-term effects - memory loss, hearing loss, vision

    problems, nerve damage, brain damage

    Tolerance & Addiction · tolerance can lead to addiction · tolerance - need more of the same drug to get the same effect · addiction - physiological (body needs it) or psychological (you think you need it) dependence on a drug

    physiological - increased levels of dopamine in synapse (feelings of pleasure)

    quitting decreases dopamine levels (pleasing feeling leaves)

    psychological - use the drug for emotional reasons

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