Drug could be defined as any substance other than food stuff intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention, control and treatment of diseases.
It may also be regarded as any substance apart from food which after taken into the body either through ingestion, injection, inhalation as well as application on the skin which changes or modifies body chemistry or alters the person’s mood.
Such substances such as nicotine, caffeine, coffee, cola, alcohol and marijuana are all regarded as drugs since they alter mood or change body chemistry.
TYPES OF DRUGS
Drugs under “types” are grouped by their uses, legal acceptability and medical application. They are: Medicine, prescription drugs, Therapeutic drugs, Over-the-counter drug, On-the-counter drug and illegal drug.
MEDICINE: are drugs that are used in the prevention, control and cure of illnesses and diseases. This group of drug may encompass some other drugs that are regarded as illegal and prescription drugs e.g cocaine is an illegal drug but it is used in the treatment of some ailment especially as anaesthetic in the process of major surgical operation.
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: These are drugs ordered or prescribed by a medical doctor either for the prevention or cure of illnesses.
THERAPEUTIC DRUGS: Drugs that are concerned with the treatment of diseases either prescribed or not.
OVER-THE-COUNTER: These are drugs and medicine that could be obtained without a prescription note eg marijuana, cocaine, heroine, morphine.
ILLEGAL DRUGS: They are referred to as hard drugs because they are not constitutionally permitted to be consumed by the citizenry . so, some of these drugs are made legal for some bodies that use them for therapeutic proposes.
Cocaine, heroine and morphine are illegal drugs but they’re used medically in the treatment of some diseases.
ON-THE-COUNTER-DRUG: They are non prescription drugs that can be purchased on the counter at pharmaceutical stores, chemist or patient-medicine stores without presenting a physician slip for their purchase.
CLASSIFICATION OF DRUGS
Drugs under “classification” are grouped into classes according to their action and effects on human body. They are classified as follows: Narcotic drugs, Stimulant drugs, Depressant drugs, Hallucinogens drugs, Cannabis- Marijuana.
NARCOTICS: These are strong anesthetics that are commonly used in the relief of the pain. Some of them also have sedative effects on the CNS, they are the most abused. Examples of narcotics are opiates, morphine and cocaine.
Most of the analgesics drugs prescribed by physicians contain little substance of narcotics. For example drugs used for surgical operation has little atom of cocaine.
STIMULANTS: Drugs classified as stimulants are amphetamine, cocaine, phenometrazine and other stimulant. Stimulant drugs are usually taken to produce a relief from fatigue or to cause a temporary sense of increase to perform.
These drugs are regarded as CNS drugs because they cause increase in alertness, improve mental and physical performances, elevate mood, appetite and increase pulse rate. Examples are cola, maladine, Rhetaline.
DEPRESSANTS: These drugs include Barbiturates, chlorahydrates, methaqualone, minotrangulizer, Valium and alcohol. Reaction of depressant on the CNS is directly opposite that of stimulant.
They slow down or reduce the activities of the Central nervous System, especially the brain. The commonest CNS depressant is alcohol.
HALLUCINOGEN: Classified under this are amphetamine, mescaline, psylcosipine, phenylalanine and other hallucinogens. They produce hallucinogenic effect leading to dislocation of consciousness. The drugs are known to alter mood such as perception, thinking and reasoning.
CANNABIS: is described as a drug made from dried leaves and flowers of hemp plant which give a feeling of being relaxed when smoked. It is also known as marijuana. Classified under cannabis include marijuana, aashisi, aashisi oil and tedrahydrocanil.
Cannabis is a plant widely planted wherever the climate is favourable for both the hemp fiber and the variety of the chemical compound condition. A popular drug derived from the plant are marijuana and aashisi.
GATEWAY DRUGS: are substances that people tend to try first when they are I’ll. They can be defined as introductory drugs. The consumption of which leads into the consumption of other drugs that are more powerful than the introductory drug.
These three substances are gateway drugs I.e Nicotine, Alcohol and marijuana. These drugs are referred to gateway drugs because they are the “gateway” or “point of entrance” that can lead to the use of other substances.