When we look at Drugs, the brain and behavior we come to the realization that traditionally, drugs are therapeutic chemicals designed to have maximal benefit with minimal risk of side effects or toxicity. Essentially, psychoactive drugs are those drugs which that change cognition, behavior, and emotions by changing the functioning of the brain.
As we shall see, thousands of drugs are currently available, with new drugs constantly under development. Alcohol is a psychoactive drug, as are, for example, heroine, caffeine, and Prozac. Each one produces changes in feelings and behavior.
Antibiotics are drugs, but they are not considered to be psychoactive, even though your behavior may change. Psychopharmacology is the study of the use, mechanisms, and effects of drugs that act on the brain and subsequently alter behavior. Therefore in this paper, the definition of a drug varies with its action.
Hallucinogens trigger a high via the central nervous system. The CNS controls the functions of the brain and the spinal cord. This is done courtesy of the neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters or chemical messengers are released by the neurons to help neurons communicate with each other.
Dealing with this cases requires the use of professional advice from a trained counselor or psychiatrist. This is because the nature of a human being is unique. Furthermore, there are various approaches which can be used to deal with this condition.
The case of Ethyl is that of alcohol dependence. Alcohol, the substance in question, is a small hydrophilic and lipophilic molecule. The simple chemical composition enables it to affect the functioning of virtually all cells in the body. Its principal actions however are on the central nervous system thus qualifying to be a drug which brings about alcohol dependency.
Ethanol is rapidly absorbed from stomach, small intestines and the colon, and the peak concentration is achieved about 30 – 90 minutes after the last drink.
As illustrated from this case, alcohol or ethanol ingestion produces a wide variety of effects encompassing all systems of the body. In addition, ethyl seems to have developed over confidence, irritability and developed a state of over activity the moment she takes alcohol.
With much intake of ethanol, tolerance builds thus leading to addiction. Ethyl’s tolerance had grown to the level that the body could not do without a drink. There are two general ways of dealing with this condition. First is the inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment.
Other less often used programs include half way house and therapeutic communities, known as residential treatment. The professional is best qualified to advise a client on which type of treatment is best suited for a person.
Essentially neurotransmitters are classified as amines, amino acids, and neuropeptides. In the case, of Pat, the neurotransmitters which are responsible are the amines.
Looking at the amines, what we realized is that their core functions include movement and memory (Acetylcholine), movement, arousal and reward (Dopamine), Arousal, wakefulness, mood, learning and memory (Norepinephrine) and sleep, sensory experiences, and mood (Serotonin).
Pat exhibits traits that depict memory lapses. Furthermore, he has developed difficulty in movement which has might be associated with the amine group of neurotransmitters. Furthermore, Pat has not been given many opportunities to exercise and walk around.
This is because he has found himself locked up in a room for most of the time which might have aggravated his condition. Given an opportunity, he should get some time out and exercise.
Ritalin is the common name for methylphenidate, classified by the drug enforcement administration as a schedule II narcotic – the same classification as cocaine, morphine and amphetamines. When it is used as a prescription drug it may have severe effects including nervousness, insomnia, anorexia, loss of appetite, pulse changes, heart problems and weight loss.
It can also be classified as a drug of dependency. That is why it might not be recommended to treat Adie ‘s case. Furthermore, this drug has been associated with hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and psychotic behavior, as well as aggression or violent behavior which might stir, Aide’s case.
In addition, owing to the fact that Adie is has the attention deficit disorder, the effect of Ritalin would be disastrous if taken as an option with regard to treatment. One study on rats has also suggested that early use of Ritalin may make it more likely that children will suffer from depression as they grow older.
The study found that early exposure to Ritalin and similar stimulant drugs seems to alter the brains of rats and causes changes in behavior that last into adulthood. Thus children who take Ritalin – even legally – may suffer physical side effects. Some children experience stunted growth. Ritalin can reduce children’s appetites or alter the natural balance of the body’s growth hormones. Thus this drug would have disastrous consequences Aide in the future.
Milhorn, H. T. (2003). Drug and Alcohol Abuse: The Authoritative Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Counselors. New York: Da Capo Press.
Saxena, S. (2003). Alcohol and drug abuse. London: New Age International.