How Do Drugs Work?

There are different classifications and definitions of drugs. Two most common classes of drugs are pharmaceutical drugs used for medicinal purposes and recreational drugs used outside medicinal purposes.

Pharmaceutical drugs are called medicines or medication and are taken to cure or treat an illness, disease or medical condition. It may also be taken as preventive therapy to avoid illness. Pharmaceutical medications may have specific kinds of conditions and taking them without these conditions may be harmful.

Drugs How Do Drugs Work?

There are drugs that require prescription so one can purchase it at a drug store such that they are called restricted drugs or prescription only medicines (POM). Others can be purchased over the counter (OTC) like aspirin and those that can stop diarrhea or anything that can be used for first aid. Behind the counter drugs (BTC) are those available to people for treating a condition without having to see a doctor but requires that a licensed pharmacist be consulted on how it is best used (e.g. birth control pills).

For drugs to work, they have to enter the body. Administration of medicine can be done in many ways. The main types of administration include: oral (mouth), inhaled (into the nose), injected (veins), rectal (anus), and vaginal (vagina). They are called according to the method of entry.

Every medication is made to address a particular condition. Every medication will work differently. Every person’s biological composition may allow the drug reactions vary from one to another.

Recreational drugs, on the other hand, are commonly used for recreation or to improve work productivity, not for medical purposes. Caffeine is an example. Some of the popular recreational drugs used include alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, marijuana and cocaine. The use of these drugs may be done for different reasons.

Recreational drugs are psychoactive in nature. This means that they bring changes to a person’s consciousness, moods, perceptions, and behavior. Most recreational drug users take these drugs to get the effects they experience from it since taking most recreational drugs are habit-forming.

Many recreational drugs are legal like caffeine and tobacco. But these drugs must not be underestimated as they too can cause negative effects to the human body just like the extremely negative effects on a person’s health and lifestyle caused by restricted drugs.

Psychoactive drugs directly affect the central nervous system and alter the normal brain functions. These drugs interact with brain receptors found on the surface of the cells and can change the chemical reactions between substances in our cells.

There are factors that affect how a drug works. Most drugs have to be taken in a specific manner for it to be effective. These factors may are dosage, time, and route of administration. Dose is the amount of drug that must be taken for it to take effect. Time is an important consideration where some drugs take effect sooner than others. Route of administration can affect how a drug works such that a particular route will allow the body to absorb the drug faster than when done in another.


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