In details

Drugs "mess up" the senses


Increasing drug use has become a matter of concern. The vast majority of people enter this dangerous path without any knowledge of the serious problems behind some moments of apparent well-being and euphoria.

It is imperative to open this discussion in the classroom, seeking to enlighten people so that they can consciously and definitively say no to drugs:

“Drugs: I'm out, I like me better”

The ecstasy

One of the illegal drugs that has been used a lot is ecstasy, or simply "AND", also known as “Love pill”.

The health risks of those using ecstasy are not few. The substance that defines ecstasy is the MDMA, acronym of methylenedioxymethamphetamine. By that name, the drug is confused with amphetamines or methamphetamines, other illegal synthetic stimulants that leave people "hooked up."

Despite being derived from amphetamine, the MDMA compound has a part of its hallucinogen-like molecule. This substance acts on three neurotransmitters: the serotonin, a dopamine and the norepinephrine.

The hardest hit is serotonin, which controls emotions and also regulates the sensory domain, motor domain, and associative capacity of the brain. MDMA causes a discharge of serotonin into brain nerve cells to produce the effects of well being and lightness.

Because serotonin is also a regulator of body temperature, another immediate risk of ecstasy is that of hyperthermia, or overheating of the body. Deaths associated with this drug are almost always due to body temperature elevation above 41ºC. From this temperature, the risks are imminent. The blood may clot, causing seizures and cardiac arrest.

We took a moment to look at ecstasy because it was a widespread drug at the moment. However, let's now briefly look at other drugs that act on neurons by mimicking neurotransmitters:

Cigarette: Nicotine fits into receptors designed for acetylcholine, alleviating hunger and fatigue and generating a slight feeling of euphoria. It also plays the role of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with satisfaction, and has an inhibiting effect on appetite. Smoking increases the chance of developing cancer of the mouth, pharynx, lung, and many other health problems, such as myocardial infarction and pulmonary emphysema.

Alcohol: It acts destructively by directly attacking glutamate, a neurotransmitter involved in various functions such as reasoning and movement.

When it does not destroy glutamate molecules, alcohol causes damage that makes them difficult to attach to receptors. Alcohol can cause many types of diseases, such as alcohol. hepatical cirrhosis, where the liver is seriously damaged.

Marijuana: The active substance in cannabis, the THC (tetrahydrocannabiol) fits receptors for anandamide, a neurotransmitter that causes euphoria, memory impairment and hypersensitivity.

It causes dependence and can lead to male sexual impotence.

Cocaine (illegal drug): causes increased production of dopamine and norepinephrine, stimulating chemicals. Dopamine creates a sense of satisfaction and, at higher doses, euphoria. The effects of cocaine are very fast and intense. It causes dependence and can lead to death.

The table below summarizes some effects and dangers of other drugs, the first two illegal and the others of controlled drug use, and may be the starting point for discussions:

Damn it Effects Dangers
LSDOverexcitation, sensory distortion, hallucinations, pupil dilation, increased blood pressure and heartbeat.Tolerance (the person needs increasing doses to achieve the same effect), physical dependence, unreasonable behavior, overdose death.
Crack (a form of cocaine five to ten times stronger than the others)Increased self-confidence, a sense of power and euphoria, followed by deep depression.It causes depression, fatigue, memory loss, insomnia, paranoia, loss of sexual appetite, violent behavior, suicidal tendency, overdose death.
BarbituratesSedatives, reduce anxiety and induce sleep, reduce blood pressure and decrease breathing rate.

Tolerance, physical dependence, death from overdose, especially if combined with alcohol.

Narcotic analgesics (eg morphine)Euphoria, pain reduction, reflex reduction, pupil contraction, loss of coordination.Tolerance, physical dependence, seizure and death from overdose.
AmphetamineEuphoria, excitement, hyperactivity, increased breathing rate and blood pressure, pupil dilation.Tolerance, physical dependence, hallucinations, overdose death.