25 May 2022


Pharmacological Effects of Drugs

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Pharmacology can be viewed as the branch of biology that is responsible for evaluating how drugs act most notably with the interaction of the chemical components of the drugs and the biochemical functioning of the body system. Drugs have a significant effect on brain cells. Other than marijuana, heroin has been shown to bind to the opioid receptors in the brain making the brain to release dopamine. It can be argued that drugs overtake the functioning of the limbic system ( Watkins, n.d.) .

The limbic system is the brain part that has complex structures including the hypothalamus, amygdala, and the hippocampus that are charged with regulating the emotions in human beings. Through overtaking the functioning of the limbic system, heroin and other prescribed opioids are able to influence the body systems ( Watkins, n.d.) . Studies have established that the affected limbic system for example in the hypothalamus may result in sending messages to the pituitary gland triggering the release of hormones into the bloodstream.

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Cocaine has a similar mode of functioning flooding the brain with dopamine gaining control of the central nervous system creating surges in energy levels, attention, focus, and wakefulness. Additionally, there is shown an impact on the heart that is achieved through inhibiting norepinephrine reuptake. Norepinephrine as a neurotransmitter and hormone has been shown to increase in functioning during instances of danger and stress ( Watkins, n.d.) . As such, with the inhibiting of norepinephrine reuptake, the sympathetic nervous system is affected resulting in prolonged and exaggerated sympathetic nervous activity. It is worth mentioning that the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for preparing the body for flight or fight as a defensive mechanism. When this mechanism is triggered, the heart muscles are forced to contract increasing the rate of the heart beating and consequently increased blood pressure. Additionally, cocaine leads to constriction of capillaries downplaying the rate of blood flow to the heart muscle.

Statistics on the regulation of drug use in America

The issue of drug use in American society has been the source of debate for a long time. There have been different views held with regard to the regulation of drug use in the America society with drug policies reigning. Studies indicate that penalties have been established for different drug categories with certain drugs attracting lighter punishments while others are bound to have harder punitive actions. A poll released by Pew Research Center has indicated that out of three Americans two hold the view that people should not be taken to courts for prosecutions when found in possession of certain drugs. Different states, as well as the federal government, have set regulations governing how people caught in possession of illicit drugs ought to be treated. In this light, of the people interviewed, fifty-four percent supports that marijuana should be legalized while sixty-three percent are of the opinion that there should be a movement away from enforcing mandatory minimums ( Pew Research Center, 2015) . Furthermore, since marijuana stands out as the most abused drug in America, forty-four percent of the interviewed population opine that it the drug should be rendered legal for use only in medicine while thirty-nine percent hold the view that people should be allowed to use Marijuana for personal reasons.

According to the Pew Research Center that conducted the polls, a majority of the American citizens are in agreement that it is no longer feasible to have mandatory minimums for drug offenders but rather adopting a treatment approach ( Pew Research Center, 2015) . Of the interviewed population, sixty-seven percent opine that the government needs to put more emphasis on the treatment of cocaine and heroin drug users with only twenty-six percent holding contrary opinion inclining towards prosecution ( Pew Research Center, 2015) . Furthermore, thirty-two percent of the interviewees view drug use as a cause for concern in the country terming it as a national crisis while fifty-five percent think it is a serious problem rather than a crisis.


Pew Research Center. (2015, January 12). America's New Drug Policy Landscape. Retrieved from http://www.people-press.org/2014/04/02/americas-new-drug-policy-landscape/  

Watkins, M. (n.d.). How Drugs Affect the Brain and Central Nervous System. Retrieved from https://americanaddictioncenters.org/health-complications-addiction/central-nervous-system  

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Pharmacological Effects of Drugs.


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