Under Drugs Most people understand intoxicants like hashish, opium or heroin. But daily luxury foods such as coffee and tea, alcohol and nicotine also fall under the category of drugs. Indeed, the effects of drug use are wide-ranging, ranging from mildly stimulating the mind to total destruction of the mind and body.
Most people understand drugs as intoxicants such as hashish, opium or heroin. But daily luxury foods such as coffee and tea, alcohol and nicotine also fall under the category of drugs.
In contrast to most medical terms, which are derived from Greek and Latin, the word drug comes from Dutch. As a colonial power in Southeast Asia, the Netherlands ruled the spice trade for centuries. Spices and tea were brought to Europe dried. Some of these spices, such as nutmeg, have mind-altering abilities known as psychotropic properties.
The history of drug use is about as old as the history of civilization. People learned about 6,000 BC that fermented grape juice is fun. Wine is therefore older than beer, because brewing was only started in Egypt around 5,000 years ago, i.e. 3,000 BC. Ch. Discovered.
Mushrooms to produce intoxication were already being used in North Africa and the vast Siberia. The mind-altering power of various mushrooms was also recognized on the American continent. On the other hand, Indians began to enjoy tobacco around the turn of the century.
Nicotine, alcohol and caffeine are widely accepted in today's society. Classics such as tea and coffee have now been joined by an immense number of so-called energy drinks. In addition to caffeine, they also contain the pick-me-ups taurine and guanine. Sometimes, especially in bars and discos, energy drinks are mixed with alcohol, which increases the effect.
Medicines such as psychotropic drugs, stimulants, painkillers or sleeping pills are often misused as drugs. Conversely, some HIV or cancer patients actually use prohibited substances such as cannabis products, such as hashish, for therapeutic purposes.
In medical applications, opioids (e.g. morphine) are also used legally as pain relievers. Various drugs are often used as antidepressants in mental illnesses. Even LSD and MDMA are currently being researched in psychotherapy.
Various natives of South America, Africa and Asia still use different drugs from plants in shamanism to fight diseases and for spiritual cleansing of the body.
Until a few years ago, the distinction between soft and hard drugs was popular. For example, hashish and marijuana fell under “soft”, while heroin, LSD and crack were classified as hard drugs.
But this classification is now considered obsolete. Rather, the type and origin of the drugs now play a role. On the one hand, there are drugs that are naturally made from plants, such as cannabis products made from hemp or opiates made from opium poppies. On the other hand, there are numerous drugs available today that are assembled in laboratories, the so-called designer drugs.
Since a study by David Nutt in 2007, drugs have been classified according to their harm to the user himself, his degree of dependence and social harm. After that, heroin is considered the most dangerous drug with a harm potential of 8.32 on a nine-point scale. In a follow-up study that gave more space to social harm, alcohol came out on top, followed by heroin.
A fundamental problem with drugs is their addiction potential. A single use of heroin can lead to addiction. However, the regular use of drugs can have devastating effects on the mind or body in the long term.
For example, hashish is less addictive than alcohol or nicotine. However, prolonged regular consumption of the cannabis product can lead to a dramatic change in personality or even psychosis. These can also be the worst effects of severe alcohol addiction. In addition, severe alcoholism also leads to physical decline.
These are also the consequences of heroin addiction, with the difference that the decline is much faster. Another danger with heroin abuse is much more threatening: Since the addiction potential is so great and the body needs higher doses from trip to trip in order to achieve the desired intoxication level, it can easily lead to an overdose, the "golden shot".
The growing market for designer drugs (e.g. crystal meth) poses a very special risk. Since these are completely new compounds, their long-term effects are often completely unclear.