Drugs in the Class of Stimulants and Narcotics

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History has shown there are many documented uses for drugs in the class of stimulants and narcotics. Stimulants are available over the counter and with a prescription. Use of the medications range from pleasure to necessity for uncontrollable pain. With any type of drug, there is always the potential for a person to become addicted. With any type of product containing chemicals that interact with the makeup of our bodies, there is potential for mis-use, abuse and self-harm. As will be discussed, there are products available to the consumer where they will find themselves requiring medical intervention if they want the withdrawal process to be a less than painful process.

Amphetamines can be found in the class of Stimulant drugs. Stimulants cause the user a feeling of being “sped up” due to the impact it has on a person’s nervous system. When the drug goes into effect, the heart will beat faster than usual. In addition, the brain will work harder and faster as well. This is a reason that stimulates are referred to as “uppers”. The person taking the drug will have a feeling of great motivation. Four specific amphetamine drugs are Benzedrine, Methedrine, and Dexedrine. As with many of the stimulants available for prescription to patients, a common drug called methamphetamine can be used on patients diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or narcolepsy. An amphetamine that is never prescribed to patients but often abused is called “crystal meth”.

Users of this drug will smoke it and is seen most often used for recreational purposes which leads to abuse. The recreational user chooses to abuse this drug for purposes of pleasure. People taking the drug are not provided with any ‘extra’ energy than they already possess. What ends up happening is they burn up energy they have in their reserves. In addition, they will find loss of appetite occurs much like one sees with the use of diet pills. While this class of drug can be prescribed, a provider will make it available to their patients for a short-time. When the person abusing the drug has that initial charged up feeling, they will feel less charged then they did initially.

The reason for this is that they will deplete the energy they have which then leads to an overwhelming which can be described as a “crash”. To maintain the feelings of motivation and energy experienced early on, the user has to keep taking more pills due to the drug tolerance they are building with each use. It’s a vicious cycle trying to keep that feeling. As their body gets used to the drug, they build a tolerance for it. It then takes more of the drug to maintain that same feeling they had before the effects wore off. Cocaine is another type of stimulant. This type of drug can be found in coca plant leaves. The feelings experienced by someone using cocaine is a feeling of exhilaration (major high). A person may describe that euphoria as one of energy, power and pleasure.

While these are feelings of complete happiness, they will also find they are deadened to pain and will experience a loss of appetite. It could be seen at the end of the nineteenth as a medicinal drug for dental procedures and extractions. Once providers became aware of the potential for addiction, it was necessary to re-evaluate its use and the potential for harm that could be caused to patients. While there are good feelings of pleasure with the use of the drug, there are very unpleasant (adverse effects) a person experiences when one tries to cease use of the drug. When the drug is used by expecting mothers, there can be great harm for the unborn child. Some of what you’ll see for the newborn of a using mother: learning disabilities, delayed language, and an inability to cope as others do with stress, to name a few.

When a person makes attempts to cut back on their use, they will find themselves nearing depression, fatigue, extreme feelings of being nervous. They will find it harder to find pleasure with their daily life. Added to their feelings of discontent, will be uncomfortable feelings of paranoia. The combination of these negative experiences will be worse and the only way they can overcome them is to return to their use of the drug. The chemical changes that occurred in the brain is the same location they find feelings for craving more and more of the drug. Compared to the two stimulants discussed, amphetamines and cocaine, nicotine is not only legal for consumption but also relatively mild in comparison. Users abusing tobacco enjoy the feeling of a rush and arousal.

When using tobacco products with nicotine, they find their blood pressure rises and causes a faster beating heart. This occurs as the sugar rushes into one’s bloodstream which releases adrenaline and raises dopamine levels in the brains reward pathway. There is also a relaxing effect on the smoker which one compares to a sense of reducing their feelings of stress. Nicotine has its own set of toxic chemicals. The first-time smoker will experience feelings of nausea from the intake of toxic chemicals.

Nicotine, when compared to amphetamines and cocaine, can be just as powerful and addictive. The physical withdrawal symptoms they will experience when trying to quit can be just as bad as a person will experience when trying to quit their use of alcohol, cocaine and heroin. Surprisingly, withdrawing from nicotine can be more harmful than if they were trying to wean themselves off heroin or alcohol. A study has shown that it can be even harder to quit the use of e-cigarettes. It has been reported that the smokeless tobacco has higher levels of nicotine and toxins than those found in the rolled nicotine cigarettes. Many in society may never be exposed to or consider the use of amphetamines, cocaine, and nicotine. Consumers can find caffeine in products they purchase daily.

Popular products purchased for by consumers include: coffee, tea, pop, chocolate, energy drinks and even over the counter medications containing caffeine. and energy drinks. Caffeine is the most common stimulant in use today. Unlike prior drugs discussed, caffeine is a natural substance and can be found in coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa nuts and in at least 60 identified plants. Unlike the previously mentioned stimulants, caffeine is much milder in comparison. A person consuming drinks and or medicine with caffeine will experience feelings of being alert.

Caffeine can be found as an additive in over the counter pain medications. It has been found to provide relief for pain one experiences with aches and headaches. In addition, it is the key ingredient in over the counter medications sold to help someone stay awake. Studies have shown that 2 cups of caffeinated coffee a day may actually be good for people. It has been found linked to lowering a person’s risk for diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and an lowering their risk of death overall. Narcotics is defined as a drug substance that has been found to affect a person’s mood and behavior. It is commonly used as an illegal drug. There are no reported medicinal uses for narcotics, but most commonly one seen with the illegal use of drugs. Narcotics are in a class commonly referred to as Opiates.

Opiates depress a person’s sensation of pain. This occurs when the chemical binds to and stimulates the nervous systems natural receptor sites. The receptor sites are referred to as the endorphins or opioid receptors. A person’s neurotransmitters that deaden a person’s pain naturally. With the slowing down of the nervous systems actions, there is potential when mixed with substances such as alcohol or other depressant classes of drugs. There is potential for death when one mixes the substances in higher than suggested doses. Opiates have been identified to be a derivative of the opium plant. Another type of narcotic is called an Opiate.

Opiates derive from opium poppy plant. The drug provides pain-relief to the user in addition to feelings of euphoria as was identified with amphetamines. It is a highly addictive drug that mimics the same effects a person’s endorphins do. In other words, it mimics the body’s nervous system and the action it takes to relieve the pain one feels. When the user cuts back on the use of opium, they will experience intense feelings of pain and withdrawal unlike they may have felt prior to taking the drug. In 1803, the drug took on a new use with the development of the drug for use in medication form. The new form was labeled morphine and gained a reputation as “God’s own medicine”.

Morphine came about when the physician dissolved opium into acid form. The chemical’s acid was neutralized with ammonia. Physicians found it was the impurities in morphine created harmful side effects for their patients. Given that, morphine was considered a by physicians and the patients they were treating with the drug. With greater and longer time use, physicians became concerned that their patients could become addicted. Prescriptions of this drug required careful monitoring by the physician and prescribed it for short periods of time and to patients who were experiencing severe pain. With such monitoring, the patients could experience the benefits of the drug and were carefully weaned off it when it was no longer necessary for their use. Heroin was referred to as the new wonder drug. Heroin, a derivative of morphine, was found to have less side effects for patients than was found when patients were given morphine.

Heroin was found to be purer and contained less of the impurities that were found in morphine. While it was identified that heroin had beneficial effects to the patient’s they treated, concern also grew for the addiction properties with use of such a strong drug. Heroin was found to be an even more powerful substance with highly addictive potential to the person using the drug, when compared to opium and morphine. Due to the concerns that existed with the potential for patient addiction, heroin use for medicinal purposes was backed off. It became necessary for physicians to consider pain-relieving medications that could be managed better, and patients could be taken off after short periods of time.

Heroin was not a drug they could use for medicinal purposes. Over the years, the United States has experienced growth of heroin-use by both men and women of varying age groups and income. It is not uncommon for those using heroin to combine it with other drugs. Most commonly users of cocaine will use it along with cocaine and other opiate containing medications. When users combine heroin along with other opiate-containing drugs, there was found to be a growing increase of heroin-related deaths due to overdose. For users that need to withdraw from the drug, they are often prescribed medications such as: methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone.

These drugs help the patient, with an opiate addiction, safely come off the drug. Withdraw from heroin requires a supervised medical process where their systems natural endorphin system can return to normal function management. With physician involvement and a slow weaning off the drug, their natural endorphins can allow them to return to a state where they will no longer require the drug and can return to a better state of health. Stimulants and narcotics have provided internal benefits of pleasure to those consuming them. Whether they can be purchased over the counter, prescribed by a physician, or purchased illegally, the medical community has found they have served common purposes for their patient’s wellbeing. To delay the negative effects, the user requires more to feel that good feeling. When tolerance builds, the desire requires more and more. Drugs identified as stimulants and narcotics have found their way into the lives of many with good intent.

They also find themselves requiring help from medical providers when it comes time for them to consider cutting back and eventually ceasing its use. Whether the drug is for medicinal or pleasure, legal or illegal, it is apparent that medical intervention is needed due to the extreme potential for addiction and the withdrawal symptoms they will experience. The withdrawal puts a toll on their emotional and physical wellbeing. When use of the chemical gets out of hand and reaches uses of little control, the outcome for some beyond care or willingness to seek help will take them down a scary road of trouble and or death.

Cite this paper

Drugs in the Class of Stimulants and Narcotics. (2021, Jul 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/drugs-in-the-class-of-stimulants-and-narcotics/

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