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Common Drugs of Abuse Beyond the drug categories you have already examined, ther

Common Drugs of Abuse
Beyond the drug categories you have already
examined, there are both illegal and prescribed drugs that are commonly
misused. Many of these substances are considered recreational drugs, or drugs
that people use specifically to feel good. Unfortunately, not only is using
most of these drug’s illegal, but many of them are highly addictive. These
drugs fall under the following classifications: Central nervous system (CNS)
depressants, CNS stimulants, hallucinogens, and marijuana. Each of the four
classifications includes drugs that are quite unique from those in the other
The following list includes drugs that typically fall under each
CNS Depressants
Drugs in this classification include barbiturates,
(such as phenobarbital), barbiturate-like substances (such as methaqualone),
and benzodiazepines (such as diazepam [brand name Valium] and lorazepan [brand
name Ativan]). These drugs are also known as anxiolytics (to treat anxiety) and
hypnotics (to help sleep). Most of these drugs have a narrow therapeutic
window, which means that their use beyond prescribed amounts will put users at
risk for physical dependence on these drugs. Many of these drugs are purchased
on the street, are not therapeutically prescribed, and put the user at high
risk for dependence due to their high potential for neuroadaptation.
CNS Stimulants
Drugs in this classification include amphetamines,
a broad classification of CNS stimulants primarily prescribed for narcolepsy
and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Examples of prescribed CNS
depressants that are commonly abused are methamphetamine (brand name Desoxyn),
methylphenidate (brand name Ritalin), and a dextroamphetamine/amphetamine
combination (brand name Adderall). These drugs are all pharmaceutical drugs that
are prescribed by physicians; however, methamphetamine is also illegally
manufactured and sold as a street drug. One of the common forms of
methamphetamine as a street drug is a smokeable form known as “Ice.” The other
drug in the category of CNS stimulants is cocaine, a drug that is illegally
manufactured and sold on the street. Cocaine (once thought to be non-addictive)
is a highly addictive drug when taken regularly as the high is intense, but
short-lived and, hence, many users have a desire to continue the effects of the
high by using more, thus putting themselves at high risk for addiction.
After alcohol and tobacco, marijuana is the next most
commonly abused drug in our society today. The use of marijuana is quite
controversial today with some jurisdictions now making it legal and many other
jurisdictions de-criminalizing it for those arrested with possession. It is
also legally prescribed in several states for illnesses such as cancer and
glaucoma. Adverse effects of short-term recreational use include respiratory
and cardiac problems, with chronic use potentially leading to serious pulmonary
problems, neurological changes, and serious cardio-vascular problems, which
puts one at risk for heart attacks.
K2 and Spice were created as alternatives to marijuana they
are chemical compounds designed to mimic the active ingredients in marijuana.
Because these substances are technically not marijuana but chemically very
close they can be marketed as herbal compounds. One of the important
characteristics of these drugs is that they do not register as marijuana on
urine drug screens which makes the substance attractive to those desiring to
avoid detection. Some states have passed legislation barring the commercial
sale of these substances however they are still found in communities. Like any
drug these substances have side effects that include hallucination, rapid heart
rate, psychotic and violent behavior as well as seizures.
Drugs in this classification include LSD, phencyclidine
(PCP), ecstasy (MDMA), psilocybin mushrooms, and others. These drugs alter
one’s state of consciousness and sensory perception. Though research on the
effects of hallucinogens is minimal, it is believed that the sensory changes
are due to alternation of neurotransmitters in the brain. It is believed that
changes in neural activity, most likely in regards to the neurotransmitter
serotonin, are responsible for such sensory distortions.
Concepts of Chemical Dependency 9th Edition
Harold E Doweiko
Doweiko, H. E. (2014). Concepts
of chemical dependency (9th ed.). Bellevue, WA: Cengage
Chapter 6: Abuse and Addiction to Barbiturates and Barbiturate-Like
Chapter 7: Abuse and Addiction to the Benzodiazepines and Similar Agents
Chapter 8: Abuse and Addiction to Central Nervous Stimulant
Chapter 9: Cocaine Abuse and Addiction
Chapter 10: Marijuana Abuse and Addiction
Chapter 12: Abuse and Addiction to Hallucinogens
Consumer Reports: The
dangers of painkillers: A special report (2014)
Drugs of Abuse A DEA RESOURCE GUIDE (2017)
AND PUBLISHED BY Drug Enforcement Administration • U.S. Department of Justice WWW.DEA.GOV
Jones, R. (2010). Finding the good
argument or why bother with logic? Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, 1, 156-
National Institute on Drug Abuse.
(n.d.). NIDA InfoFacts: The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction.
National Institute on Drug Abuse.
(n.d.). Prescription Drug Abuse.
Prepare a Debate on the Legalization of Controlled Substances
For this task, you will
debate whether marijuana should be legalized (if currently illegal to buy or
use), or made available as over the counter drugs (if currently only used with
a prescription).
For your debate, you will
play the role of both people in the debate. You will identify by name two
individuals that will be addressing the respective position
pro-legalization or con legalization. You will present the pros and cons
of making such a substance available freely or on a controlled basis. In
preparing your debate, be sure to mention the following points:
Identify the psychopharmacological properties of the substance.
Determine how widely the substance is used.
Determine if the substance is addictive.
Indicate any side effects for this substance.
Identify the effects of criminalizing the substance.
Recognize any problems that might be caused or prevented by
decriminalizing the substance.
Determine how this substance can be beneficial once it can be
legally purchased without a prescription.
Indicate how this drug might be detrimental if it can be legally
purchased without a prescription.
Identify any social implications that can emerge if this substance
can be legally purchased.
Prepare your debate in
transcript form and allow each debater to make a statement. Then, be sure that
the discussion alternates back and forth between the two debaters. It is
important that clearly identify the speaker by name as you present the
positions. Be sure to allow time for each to make a rebuttal of the other’s
statement. Use critical thinking skills to follow the rules for a logical
Length: 5-7 pages
Resources: Support the points in the debate with reference to at
least 3 scholarly references. In addition to these specified resources, other
appropriate scholarly resources, including older articles, may be included.
Your paper should
demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the
course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic.
Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

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