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The Effect of Drugs on the Organism Essay

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Updated: Feb 22nd, 2021

Describe the major aspects of amphetamine psychosis and its relationship to paranoid schizophrenia

Amphetamine-induced psychosis has a number of key aspects that make it different from other drug-related psychoses. The primary aspects include the stimulation of interpretive mental activities that involve paying more attention to details and repetitive searching and sorting behavior. The intermediary aspects are a development of sensitive keenness, which develops into a constant enjoyable curiosity and habitual inquisitive behavior.

This behavior is then projected to others (persecution). The enhancement of this sensitive keenness leads to hallucinations that are usually auditory in the start but later become visual and physical. These aspects of amphetamine psychosis are closely related to those of paranoid schizophrenia. Indeed, according to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, out of 14 cases of patients admitted with either paranoid schizophrenic or amphetamine psychosis, all of them had aspects of persecution, disturbing behavior, and a disturbing effect (Nicholas 181). This shows that the two conditions are closely linked, and without a clear diagnosis, one can be mistaken for the other.

Describe the principal acute effects of heroin on the mind and body. (20 points)

Heroin is an illegitimate opioid drug that slows the brain and the functioning of the central nervous system. Apart from its initial effects of pain relief and a sense of well being; it has acute effects on the mind and brain of the user. The principal acute effects of heroin on the brain include a slowing of the brain affecting the breathing system, which may slow down or stop (Landry 39). In addition, body temperature and blood pressure decrease, and the heartbeat become uneven. In extreme cases, the user may become unconscious or fall into a coma.

Three classes of hallucinogens relate to “hallucination-producing” drugs, particular neurotransmitter systems in the brain. Describe these three categories and include one example of a hallucinogenic drug in each. (20 points)

Hallucinogen is a chemical substance that can change the consciousness of a person and lead to a loss of contact with reality. Based on psychoactive ability, hallucinogens fall into three categories. These include psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. Psychedelic drugs are those drugs that characteristically and consistently produce a combination of distortions of thinking, feeling, and perception (MobileReference 569).

This is collectively known as the psychedelic experience. A classic example of such drugs is lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Dissociatives are drugs that lessen or obstruct signals to the brain. An example of such a drug is ketamine. Lastly, deliriants are considered a subgroup of dissociatives and are commonly referred to as the true hallucinogens. They contain centrally active anticholinergic substances that produce a delirium-like state leading to visual and audio hallucinations. An example of a deliriants drug is antihistamine diphenhydramine o or Benadryl.

What extent of physical and/or psychological dependence with regard to marijuana smoking. Based on your answer, should it be decriminalized? (20 points)

Smoking marijuana has many effects. They range from hypertension to impaired coordination. The effects depend on the level of intoxication of the user. The level of marijuana smoking dependence is highly debated, and that is why it is not clearly decriminalized. Although tolerance and psychological dependence do not develop with occasional use, it occurs insidiously with chronic use (Brophy and Webber 249).

On the other hand, physical dependence rarely occurs, despite cases of marijuana withdrawal. As such, if the levels of dependence are anything to go by, decriminalization of marijuana smoking may be a dream yet to be actualized.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of methadone maintenance as a treatment option for heroin abuse

Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) is the most common form of heroin treatment. Methadone is an artificial oral narcotic that resembles morphine. It holds back withdrawal symptoms among heroin addicts. Studies in the past have indicated that MMT programs have a number of advantages over other drug-free treatments. These advantages are that they reduce illegal opiate use, as well as decrease the chances of contracting HIV due to injection.

MMTs are also linked to reduced criminal activity (Farrell, 1000). Despite these benefits of MMT programs, the treatment has its fair share of disadvantages. One key problem linked to Methadone Maintenance as a form of treating heroin is its limited duration and dosage. This affects the addict’s ability to stay off the drug. Another disadvantage is that patients undergoing the treatment are bound to inject heroin even in the most effective programs. Further, high relapse rates and addiction are also common in MMTs.

Works Cited

Kathleen, Brophy, and Webber, Karen. Clinical drug therapy for Canadian practice. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010.

Farrell, Michael. “Methadone maintenance treatment in opiate dependence: a review,” British Medical Journal, 1994. 309: 997-1001.

Landry, Mim. Understanding drugs of abuse: the processes of addiction, treatment, and recovery. New York: American Psychiatric Pub, 2004.

MobileReference. Pharmacology quick-study guide for Smartphones and Mobile Devices. New York: MobileReference, 2007.

Nicholas, Dickson. Hallucinogens. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2004.101(2), 131- 181.

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