Eleni Mermigas

  • Classification: Depressant
  • Explanation: A Depressant is a a type of drug that reduces neural activity and slows body functions.
  • Effects: Tranquilizers are used to treat a wide range of problems and are used as mild to strong sedatives, anxiolytics, hypnotics and anticonvulsants.
  • Results of abuse/addiction: When taken in large amounts tranquilizers can put people into a coma, or even cause death. Patients in withdrawal from the drugs may present symptoms of tremors, trouble sleeping, and agitation. These symptoms can get worse and lead to to hallucinations, high temperatures, and seizures.
  • How it Works: Tranquilizers work by blocking the receptor sites of both GABA and AMAP on the post synaptic membrane. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, AMAP is an excitatory neurotransmitter. Normally, a certain amount GABA attaches at receptor site, and a certain amount of GABA attaches at receptor sites. In the brains of people who need to take tranquilizers, this does not occur in the correct amounts. The effect of a depressant is needed to change these receptors to work in a more normal manner, or manner that will help the person taking them to live a normal life. When both of the receptor sites of these neurotransmitters are blocked by the tranquilizer has a depressant effect on the brain.
  • More about tranquilizers.
  • Picture
  • Cartoon

Alcohol by Kelley Harrington

  • Classification:Depressant
  • Explanation: A depressant is a drug that reduces neural activity and slows body functions.
  • How it works: Alcohol is consumed by the mouth, in the form of a beverage. Unlike complex substances such as fats and proteins, alcohol does not need to breakdown before absorption. As soon as it enters the body, it starts being absorbed into the body’s systems. The stomach absorbs 30% of the alcohol and the other 70% is absorbed by the small intestine. The alcohol enters the blood stream and because it is soluble in water, it is distributed throughout the body. When alcohol reaches the brain, it interferes with communication between nerve cells. The alcohol suppresses excitatory nerve pathway activity and increases inhibitory nerve pathway activity. For example it enhances the effects of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. This causes the person to become very sluggish.
  • How Alcohol Works on the Brain
  • Effects: Slowed reaction time, tension, depression, reduced ability to store new memories or retrieve old ones, poor coordination
  • Results of Abuse/Addiction: Liver disease, pancreatitis, heart disease, irritated stomach lining, nerve damage, loss of brain cells, slows down nervous system activity, passing out, hear damage, liver damage, brain damage
  • Want to Know More About Alcohol?

Barbiturates (Sleeping Pills)
· Classification: Barbiturates are classified as depressants.
o Depressants slow down the activity in the central nervous system. They produce feelings of calm and drowsiness while reducing guilt and inhibition.
· Effects: Reduced anxiety and tension, sedation.

· Abuse/ Addiction Results: Increased dosage needed for effects, impaired motor and sensory functions, impaired permanent storage of new information, withdrawal symptoms, possible convulsions, coma, death.

· How the drug works: The exact mechanism for barbiturates is unknown but the basic thought is that it prevents an action potential from being generated. The first theory is that this drug binds to the sodium channels on neurons and prevents flow of sodium. The second theory is that barbiturates increase the flow of chloride ions across the neuron membrane by binding to receptors. Increased chloride ion flow reduces the chance for an action potential.

· How Barbiturates Work(video)

· drugs.jpgA useful link: Barbiturates

Ashley Briskey

Classification: Hallucinogen/ Mild Psychedelic

Explanation: Hallucinogens distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input.

Effects: Relaxation, euphoria, increased appetite, reduced ability to store new memories, amplified sensitivity to colors, sounds, tastes and smells, and intensified pre-existing moods and emotions.

Results of abuse/addiction: Throat and lung irritation, possible lung damage if smoked heavily. Anxiety, fear of dying, panic attacks, psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, confusion, vomiting, and red eyes

How it works: Its active ingredient THC, like the neurotransmitter anandamine, binds to cannabinoid receptors. The receptors are located mainly in the hippocampus, which is responsible for short-term memory; the cerebellum, which controls coordination; and the basal ganglia, which manages unconscious muscle movement. The THC will impair the functions of these areas, so marijuana use will likely cause impaired coordination, memory lapses, paranoia, and altered perception. Inhibition is basically turned off.



Methamphetamine and Cocaine
LSD and Tobacco

<!--[if gte mso 10]>
by: Aric Makal
  • Classification: Opiate
  • Explanation: Opiates allow for the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which creates pleasant sensations through out the body.
  • How it works: Heroin resembles natural chemicals that have binding sites in the brain and the body called opiate receptors. When heroin binds to the opiate receptors it blocks the release of neurotransmitters that inhibit the release of dopamine. With out inhibition, dopamine floods the synapse and creates feelings of pleasure, relaxation, and contentment. This same release of dopamine gives astounding pain relieving abilities.
  • Effects: euphoria, dry mouth, warm flushing on the skin, feeling that your extremities are heavy, state of consciousness alternating between alert and drowsy.
  • Results of abuse/addiction: Prolonged use of heroin can lead to heart and/or lung failure. Heroin creates conditions of bad health over all, making the body susceptible to illness. Liver disease and pneumonia are just a couple of the problems that can result from the body's lowered immune system abilities. Also, the body becomes used to the presence of the drug, and a tolerance to the drug builds up. This tolerance causes a need for greater quantities of the drug to produce the same effect, and eventually heroin must be in the addict’s body at all times for the addict to function normally.