In order to know your drugs, you also need to know the things that cause them. So for that fact, I've also included information on the neurotransmitters that go throughout your body and brain. Even if you may not be implicitly asked what a drug does to your body, it's important to know what each neurotransmitter does and how the drugs affect them to know context in questions they ask.
Synaptic Gap - a tiny space between the axon terminal of one neuron and the dendrite of an adjoining neron.
*Synapse - space between two neurons.
*Neurotransmitter - a chemical messenger that travels across the synapse from one neuron to the next and influences whether a neuron will generat and action potential.
Presynaptic neuron - the neuron that sends the signal across the gap.
Postsynaptic neuron - a neuron on the receiving end of a synapse.
Excitatory effect - a neurotransmitter effect that makes it more likely that the receiving neuron will generate an action potential.
Inhibitory effect - a neurotransmitter effect that makes it less likely that the receiving neuron will generate an action potential(impulse).
Synaptic buttons - a small structure like a sac that stores chemicals called neurotransmitters.
*Acetylcholine - a neurotransmitter that triggers muscle contraction and affects learning and memory.
*Norepinephrine - neurotransmitter that is involved in arousal and the fight-or-flight system (also mood, sleep, and learning).
*Dopamine - neurotransmitter involved in regulating emotions, speficically rewarding sensations. Also involved in movement, with links to Parkinson's disease.
*Seratonin - affects mood, hunger,sleep, and arousal. undersupply linked to depression.
*Endorphins - neurotransmitters that give one a feeling of well-being, euphoria or eliminate pain.
*Amphetamines (speed) - synthetic stimulants, used by people seeking to stay awake and who think drugs can improve mental or physical performance
*Methamphetamine (meth) - more potent variation of amphetamine, can be snorted, injected, or eaten
*Cocaine - powerful central nervous system stimulant extracted from the leaves of the coca plant, increases the chemical messengers dopamine and noradrenalin
*MDMA (ecstasy) - chemically similar to amphetamine, makes people feel closer to others and heightens sensory experiences
*Caffeine - stimulates the brain by blocking chemicals that normally inhibit or slow nerve activity, most frequently used psychoactive drug in North America
Nicotine - natural stimulant found mainly in tobacco, very addictive
Barbiturates - sedative drugs that depress brain activity, at mild doses they have an effect similar to alcohol intoxication
GHB - central nervous system depressant that relaxes and sedates the body
Tranquilizer - a drug that lowers anxiety and reduces tension
Abuse amphetamines - can cause nausea, vomiting, extremely high blood pressure, fatal heart attacks, and disabling strokes, after a binge people suffer crippling fatigue, depression, confusion, uncontrolled irritability, and aggression
Amphetamine psychosis - a loss of contact with reality
Abuse cocaine - highly addictive, upset chemical balance in body and causes depression, fatigue, anziety, paranoia, boredom, and anhedonia during withdrawal
Abuse MDMA - can cause elevated body temperature, severe liver damage, damages serotonergic brain cells
Abuse caffeine - caffeinism, insomnia, irritability, loss of appetite, chills, racing heart, and elevated body temperature
Caffeinism - excessive consumption of caffeine, leading to dependence and a variety of physical and psychological complaints
Abuse barbiturates - high dosages can cause severe mental confusion or even hallucinations, and loss of consciousness and death
Abuse GHB - overdose causes coma, breathing failure, and death; withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, agitation, tremor, delirium, and hallucinations
Abuse tranquilizers - can cause physical dependence, especially risky when combined with alcohol
*LSD and PCP - hallucinogens affect neurotransmitter systems that carry messages between brain cells
*Marijuana - derived from the hemp plant
Abuse marijuana - at risk of becoming dependent, psychological dependence, lower IQ, many long term health risks
*Psychoactive drug - a substance capable of altering attention, memory, judgment, time sense, self-control, mood, or perception by directly influencing brain activity
*Stimulant (upper) - a substance that increases activity in the body and nervous system
*Depressant (downer) - a substance that decreases body activity in the body and nervous system
Experimental drug use - short-term use based on curiosity
Social recreational drug use - occasional social use for pleasure and relaxation
Situational drug use - used to cope with a specific problem, such as needing to stay awake
Intensive drug use - daily use with elements of dependence
Compulsive drug use - intense use and extreme dependence
*Physical dependence (addiction) - physical addiction, as indicated by the presence of drug tolerance and withdrawal symptoms
*Withdrawl symptoms - physical illness and discomfort following the withdrawal of a drug
Drug tolerance - a reduction in the body's response to a drug that causes the body to need more drugs to have the same effect
Psychological dependence - drug dependence that is based primarily on emotional and psychological needs
Anhedonia - an inability to feel pleasure
Drug interaction - a combined effect of two drugs that exceeds the addition of one drug's effect on the other
Alcohol myopia - shortsighted thinking and perception that occurs during alcohol intoxication
Binge drinking - consuming five or more drinks in a short time (four or more for women)
Detoxification - in the treatment of alcoholism, the withdrawal of the patient from alcohol
*Hallucinogen - a substance that alters or distorts sensory impression
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