B1.3: The Use and Abuse of Drugs
- Scientists are constantly developing new drugs
- The stages involved in developing a new drug
- Thalidomide was intended as a sleeping pill and was tested for that use. Later it was found to be effective in relieving morning sickness. It is now used to treat AIDs, leprosy and other diseases such as some cancers.
- Thalidomide was banned as it caused abnormal limb development in the developing babies of the pregnant women taking it for their morning sickness. This was a result of lacks drug testing regulations as thalidomide had not been tested as a drug for morning sickness.
- Alcohol affects the nervous system and slows down body reactions
Too much alcohol leads to impaired judgement, poor coordination and unconsciousness
Excessive drinking can cause liver disease and brain damage
Alcohol is also addictive
- Smoking causes disease of the heart, blood vessels and lungs
Tobacco smoke also causes cancer
Nicotine is addictive
- Ecstasy, Cannabis and heroine can cause heart disease
- A person becomes addicted to a drug because it contains and addictive substance and alters the bodies chemistry this means that the person would suffer withdrawal symptoms if they stopped taking the drug.
- People take drugs to get enjoyment, relieve stress and relax.
- Evaluate different types of drugs
- Cannabis could be a stepping stone:
The effects of it create a desire to try harder drugs
- Cannabis could be a gateway drug:
It brings people in to contact with drug dealers
- It could just be that people that are more risky and because of that took cannabis are likely to move on to harder drugs
- Cannabis can be linked with mental health problems such as schizophrenia but there is not enough evidence for scientist to be certain
- Evaluate the relative impact of legal drugs and illegal drugs on health
- Statins lower cholesterol levels this reduces the risk of a heart attack by 25%
- Evaluate claims made about the effect of prescribed and non-prescribed drugs on health
- There are several types of drug that an athlete can use to enhance performance some of which are legal some of which are illegal but all are prohibited by sporting regulations
- Stimulants enhance performance by increasing heart rate and making the athlete feel more awake
- Anabolic steroids increase performance by increasing muscle size
- Evaluate the use of drugs to enhance performance in sport and to consider the ethical implications of their use (page 26 Biology revision guide)
- A placebo is an inactive substance that has no treatment value
- A blind trail is a trail where the participants do not know if they are receiving the drug or the placebo
- A double-blind trial is where neither the participants nor the doctor knows who has the placebo and who has the drug
- Clinical trial is testing on humans