Basic Science

Meaning of Drugs, Type of Drugs and Side effects of Drugs

len Alfred Ajibola - Thu, 02nd May, 2019 @ 14:14

Topics in Basic Science

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Academic Questions in Basic Science

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

Which of the following statement is FALSE concerning mass and weight?

  • A. Mass is the amount of matter in a body

  • B. The element hydrogen has the smallest mass

  • C. You will weigh more on planet jupiter than earth

  • D. Weight is a function of gravity

  • E. Mass and Weight have different Standard International (S.I) Units

  • F. None of the above

Which of the following statement is FALSE concerning matter?

  • A. Anything considered as matter must either have mass or occupy space

  • B. Air is an example of matter

  • C. Plasma is a state of matter

  • D. Chemistry is considered as the study of matter and the changes they undergo

  • E. Vacuum is a space completely void of matter

  • F. Matter will always take up space no matter how small or invincible it is to the eyes

Which of the following is NOT matter?

  • A. Atom

  • B. Molecule

  • C. Ion

  • D. Bacterium

  • E. Virus

  • F. None of the above

The ultimate source of energy is _____.

  1. Plant
  2. Sun
  3. Food
  4. Water
  5. Air
  6. Earth

The speed of wind is measured with a wind vane.


The nutrient majorly found in the liver is _____.

  • A. Carbohydrate
  • B. Starch
  • C. Protein
  • D. Fats
  • E. Oil
  • F. Lipids

A body at rest possess _____ energy.

  • A. Kinetic
  • B. Potential
  • C. Mechanical
  • D. Chemical



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What is a Drug?

A drug is defined as any substance that changes how the body functions when it's either inhaled; or injected into the blood stream; or eaten; or dissolved under the tongue; or taken with water/another liquid.

From the above definition of a drug, it can be deduced that drugs are involved in bringing about changes in the body’s physiology (that is, how the body functions). To this end, such change can either be positive or negative.

Please read on Homeostasis and Negative Feedback Mechanism here.

When one is sick, taking a drug recommended by a certified medic can prove effective and bring about positive changes in a person’s health. In fact, at one point in our lives, we had needed drugs to make our health better; but nonetheless; we still often hear words on radio and television like “Don't do Drugs”.

Note: Although drugs can make us feel better, we should not use them as we wish because they can potentially cause adverse effects if taken excessively or out of prescription.

You can read on the Causes of Drug Abuse in Adolescents here.

In this article, we will look at the types of drugs, how they can affect us and some of their side effects.


Types of Drugs

Below are the various types of drugs:

  • Stimulants

Stimulants are drugs that generally increase the way our nervous system work. They are sometimes referred to as uppers because they stimulate and increase the body's physiologic processes.

Stimulant drugs should be used on the recommendation of a medical doctor.

They can be very useful in treating numerous ailments but may also bring about sleeplessness and weight loss.

The stimulant caffeine is present in many beverages; for instance, coffee. However, stimulant drugs can be dangerous when used in excess. They become addictive and may cause harm to the user, for example cocaine.

Please read on the Uniqueness of Man here.

Other examples of stimulants are Ecstasy, Ritalin and Marijuana.

Effects of Stimulant Drugs

An abuse of a stimulant drug may result into the followings:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Cardiac Failures
  3. Psychosis
  4. Seizures
  5. Paranoia


  • Depressants

These drugs act in a negative-like manner to the stimulants. They decrease the workings of the nervous system and are thus referred to as downers; (since they give a feeling of relaxation). For this reason, alcohols and tobacco are considered to be depressants.

Normally, Depressants are available as prescription drugs to relieve stress and anger, but drowsiness is often a side effect.

Depressants should be used based on the recommendations from a doctor. The excessive use of this drug is not encouraged.

Please read on Self-esteem and ways to overcome Low Self-esteem here.

Examples of depressants are Barbiturates, Tranquillisers, Cigarettes and Alcohol.

Effects of depressant drugs:

  1. Result in weight gain.
  2. May result in low blood pressure.
  3. Increased chances of Diabetes.
  4. Sluggishness.


  • Opioids and Morphine Derivatives

Opioids and morphine derivatives relieve pains. (Think of them as pain killers).

Please read on the Beauty of Suffering here.

Many people had fallen victims of this drug simply because it was used without the doctor’s prescription.

Improper use of opioids may lead to addiction of the abused drug which can be dangerous to general health.

Examples of Opoids and Morphine Derivatives includes, Opium, Codeine, Heroin, Morphine and Acetaminophen.

Side effects of opioids are:

  1. A feeling of Nausea.
  2. A feeling of Confusion.
  3. Euphoria.
  4. A feeling of drowsiness.
  5. Difficulty in eliminating bowel (Constiption).


  • Inhalants

These drugs are inhaled via the nasal or oral cavity.

Some Inhalant drugs can be very effective in treating asthma since they bring about an immediate relief. In this case, they are sniffed into the respiratory tract. The user will normally get an immediate result from the drug's physiologic action.

Examples of inhalants are Gum, Glues, Gasoline and Nitrous Oxide (N2O or Laughing gas).

Adverse effects of inhalants:

  1. Damage to the nasal nerves.
  2. Hallucinations.
  3. Damage to the brain.
  4. Affects the manner of speech.


  • Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens have the tendency to change the mind; resulting in imaginary and unrealistic feelings.

Please read on Reputation and how to build a good Reputation here.

Hallucinogenic drugs must not be taken without the recommendation of a doctor.

Examples of hallucinogens includes Psilocybin and LSD.

Adverse effects of hallucinogens includes:

  1. They can affect speech and movement.
  2. Abnormal hormonal changes.
  3. They may result to psychosis and mental illness.
  4. They can lead to fear and perception disorder.
  5. They may bring about a rise in blood pressure.


  • Cannabinoids

These drugs are popularly referred to as cannabis. They act similarly to depressants and hallucinogens and can be very addictive.

Although cannabis can be dangerous to health, they are legalized in some countries but personally, I will discourage self use except when it's recommended by a medical doctor.

Please read on Drug Trafficking, it's Consequences and Measures put in place to Prevent it.

Examples of cannabis are Hashish and Marijuana

Adverse effects of Cannabis includes:

  1. A feeling of euphoria and an increased heart beat.
  2. Anxiety and confusion.
  3. Increased sensory functions.
  4. Sedation and Depression.


  • Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids enlarges the muscles and improve physical performance.

Some sportsmen had been ban and striped of their medal(s) for using anabolic steroids.

Please read on the Human Skeleton and Bones of the Human Body here.

Examples of anabolic steroids include Anadrol, Dianabol and Stanozol

Negative effects of anabolic steroids include baldness and hostility.


  • Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs are prescribed by a medical personnel before it's use. They are very useful when properly used; under the guidance and recommendation of a qualified physician.

Prescription drugs can be used as aids in surgery, to treat medical conditions and to control various symptoms.

Please read on Immunization | Vaccination here.

However, the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs can be very dangerous. Examples are Central nervous system depressants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and any drug prescribed by a certified medical personnel.

Note: A prescription drug can fall under any category of the aformentioned types of drugs.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Amazing facts in Basic Science

Rasceta is the name given to the lines on your ✋ palm ✋

Goats have rectangular pupils in their eyes.

Think of the pupil as a hole located in the centre of the iris within of the eye.

Note: To get an idea of an iris; 'when one is said to have blue eyes', it's because the iris is blue

Among all land animals, 🐘 Elephants 🐘 have the longest gestation period.

They stay pregnant for 22 months before giving birth to their young

🦘 Kangaroos 🦘 can't walk backwards

The 🥛 milk 🥛 of an 🦛 hippopotamus 🦛 is pink in color

The seed of all fruits are present on the inside with the exception of one.

That exception is 🍓 strawberry 🍓

🍓 strawberry 🍓 has it's seed outside the fruit

It actually takes 🍍 pineapples 🍍 2 years to grow

The liquid inside a coconut 🥥 can be used as an excellent substitute for your blood plasma

Facts on Elephants - Len Academy

Elephants can't jump


The eyebrow is an area of dense, delicate hair just above the eye.

Eyebrows perform two main functions:

  1. Protects our eyes against sweat, rain, dirt and other atmospheric contaminants.
  2. It helps us express our emotions.

Eye Brow - Len Academy

Eyebrow modified in the form of Nike logo.

Note: Eyebrows can also be modified to enhance beauty.

All fruits have seeds.

There is nothing like a naturally occurring seedless fruit. Even banana, coconut and pineapple have all got seeds.

Weight can be defined as the force of gravity acting on an object.

If you traveled to space, you would be weightless because there isn't any force of gravity acting there. We all have weight on earth becasue the force of gravity acts here.

Weight is measured in Newton

Please read on the concept of Mass and Weight here

Mass is the amount or quantity of matter (substance) contained in a body. For instance, everything you are composed of, both from within and outside will make up your mass.

Mass is constant throughout the universe. You will have the same mass on earth and moon respectively.

Mass is measured in gram or kilogram and it's quite different from weight.

Matter is anything that has mass and occupy space.

Matter can exist in four states namely:

  • Solid
  • Liquid
  • Gas
  • Plasma