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Introduction And Drug Abuse

Socially significant disease 

Firstly, what is disease ?

 This is in simple language and lacks ease.If we go to the definition  of health by WHO,it says,” Health is a complete state of complete physical, mental, social, spiritual well-being and merely absence of infirmity .”  .

 Knowing this , we can easily define disease as  lack  of ease in physical, mental , social or spiritual health .

 Broadly , disease can be classified under two groups : 

  1. Congenital ( by birth)

  2. Acquired ( got  after birth )

 Under this type we have subtype like communicable , non-communicable , socially significant  

 Of which ; a socially significant one is that , which will be discussed here in depth : 

Socially significant disease

The disease which belong to certain society,  for which  society  and their members  physical, mental, social and spiritual health  is altered in a bad way.

Out of many , Drug abuse  is one of the diseases.

Drug abuse : 

  • Introduction :

 Misuse or non  prescribed  use of drugs ;a  substance to treat or prevent disease,   is called drug abuse.

We abuse drugs just because they are addictive  and make us habituated to them . 

 So drugs which are abused are also habituating drugs.

  • Types of drug  and  their effects 

There  are 2 types of such drug   differentiated as follows: 

1. Psychotropic drugs

2.Psychedelic drugs

A. These alter brain activities.

A. These alter thoughts and perceptions by brain.

B. They are mood altering  drugs.

B.They  are vision affecting drugs.

C. For instance: opiates, narcotics,etc

C. For instance : LSD, hemps,etc.

These two are discussed further  below:

Psychotropic drugs: 


In General, the effect of this type is to  increase brain activity . 

 For instance : 

  1. Caffeine 

Source : coffee or coca plant 

Effects: elevates mood   and reduces appetite .

 This drug isn't  that  addictive  and is used in daily beverages like tea, coffee, chocolate shakes. And is lethal only in extremely high use.

  1. Nicotine 

 Source : tobacco 

Effects: increase  blood pressure upon excess intake may cause spasm in coronary artery and then cardiac arrest ,  relaxes skeletal muscle . 

  1. Cocaine/coke/princess/cracks/Big C/sniff/snow


 Source : coca  plants

Effects : reduce sleep and appetite,   extreme happiness or euphoria caused, may cause hallucinations .

  1. Amphetamines : 

 Source : synthesized 

Effects : like of cocaine  but effects are long lasting .nowadays it is used to reduce obesity and fatigue and make anti-sleeping pills 

2. Narcotics 

These cause narcosis i.e.  diminished consciousness. So, the general effect of this type is analgesic or pain killing.

For instance : 

  1. Opium 

 Source :  unripenedd seed of Opium poppy plant ;Papaver somniferum 

Effects :

Slow down respiratory activities,  digestion impairment, nausea,  sterility, indifferent towards work.

 Actually remaining below are derivatives  of opium and  classified as opiates.

  1. Morphine 

sources: opium plant  in fact it is alkaloid of it.

Effects: reduce heartrate, constipation,  increase sugar level in blood.

This drug ,  in minute  amounts, is used  during surgery to reduce pain and induce sleep.

Methadone  is used to  stop the habit of morphine   as this being more addictive than morphine , depresses cravings of morphine. While withdrawal symptoms  of Methadone  are none. 

So, this type of cure is called withdrawal  treatment. 

  1. Codeine

 0.5 to 2.5% composed of opium as an alkaloid.

Effects:  very mild sedation. 

So used in cough syrup too.

  1. Heroin /smack /Brown sugar

 Source: synthesized  by acetylation of morphine.

Thrice  more potent than morphine.

Effects : indigestion , reduced vision, loss in weight, sterility, indifferent  towards  work.

Withdrawal  symptoms :

  1. Diarrhoea

  2. Vomiting 

  3. Shivering, runny nose

  4. Muscle cramps

  5. Epilepsy 

  1. Pethidine 

 Synthetic opiate.

Effect: analgesic, sedative

Used as local anaesthetic  .

3. Tranquilizers and sedatives 

 Drug that causes sleep  and makes us totally unaware is sedative. Eg: Barbiturates

 While,  one  that doesn't  cause sleep rather  diminishes  awareness  is Tranquilizer. Eg: Benzodiazepines

Psychedelic drugs : 

1.LSD (LySergic acid Diethyl amide)

Source :  ergot fungus called Claviceps.

Effects:  sensation of flotation, hallucination, psychosis,  horrible dreams, infertility. 

2. Hemp/Cannabis sativus  products 

 Hashish ,  charas, marijuana/pot/ ganja , bhang  are some of the products.  


Marijuana is leaf derived, charas and hashish are live and dead  plant's resin  derived respectively . 

Bhang is from bud or flower of female hemp. This is even enjoyed in cultural  festivals like shivaratri.


Alter all sensation,   make us feel relaxed  and pleasant. 


  • Possible Reasons to abuse drug

  1.  Out of curiosity 

  2. Look as a source of excitement  and adventure. 

  3. Family or peer influence.

  4. Religious  importance of hemp in Hinduism.

  5. Frustration  and depression 

  6. Anti- social behaviour and enjoying a lonely life.

  7.  Desire to make a good physique with less effort from drugs. like amphetamines. 

  8. Family and societal problems  and finding  ways to  depress their mental  effects.

  •  Control measures:

1.Turkey method:  this is complete  isolation of addicts from  their  drugs.

2. Rehabilitation  and counselling  of addicts.

3. Strict legislation against drug trade and their implementation. 

4. Strict supervision  on drug abuse hotspots like pubs, rave parties.

5. Awareness about  the repercussions  of abusing drugs .

6. Addition of this topic  in the curriculum .



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