Physiological effects of recreational drugs on the human body

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It is said that all substances are poisonous and it all depends on its dosage. Drugs by definition are chemical substances that modify the body's physiology.


A fine line exists between recreational and dangerous, illegal drugs and often, these two terms are interchanged. Most of the time, the line drawn in terms of legality, abuse and risk of use involved ("Recreational drug use", 2006).

History tells us that drug use has been around for quite a long time now. Caffeine, tobacco and alcohol along with natural drug derivatives such as poppy, marijuana and hemp have been consumed by our ancestors since the time their use has been discovered (Burger, 1995; Burger, n.d.). Modern recreational drugs include ecstasy, cocaine and LSD among others.
Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) is one of the most common recreational drugs used in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Marijuana leaves often referred to it's street names "mary jane", "weed", "grass" etc. is usually rolled and smoked in cigarette form (called a "joint" or "nail") or in a pipe (known as a "bong"). The active ingredient in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) which starts a series of pleasurable reactions in the brain referred to as a "high" (National institute on drug abuse, 2004). Smoking a joint usually has no effect on the first use, but its effects are manifested after the second or third use. It affects short term memory but does not hinder physical coordination and there are no reported case yet of overdose ("Pocket guide to recreational drugs", 1995). From 2000 to 2002 marijuana use rose up to 24% in the U.S. alone and is considered to be the 3rd most abused drug reported in hospital emergency cases (National institute on drug abuse, 2004).
THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) the active ingredient found in marijuana affects the brain differently than other drugs. ...
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