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Jose Edwards
Jose Edwards

You’re Not Who You Think You Are: The Mind Altering Effects Of Drugs [Extra Quality]


NIH is launching a new nationwide study to learn more about how teen brains are altered by alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs. Researchers will use brain scans and other tools to assess more than 10,000 youth over a 10-year span. The study will track the links between substance use and brain changes, academic achievement, IQ, thinking skills, and mental health over time.




You’re Not Who You Think You Are: The Mind Altering Effects of Drugs


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Medicines are intended to help us live longer and healthier, but taking medicines the wrong way or mixing certain drugs and supplements can be dangerous. Older adults often have multiple medical conditions and may take many medicines, which puts them at additional risk for negative side effects. Read on to learn how to safely take and keep track of all your medicines.


A generic drug is a medication created to work the same way and have the same effects as an already marketed brand-name drug. Generic drugs and their brand-name equivalents contain the same active ingredients, which are the parts of the medicine that make it work. A generic drug is just as safe, and is of equal strength and quality, as a brand-name drug. You take a generic drug the same way as a brand-name drug. Generic drugs are usually less expensive than their brand-name counterparts, and they are more likely to be covered by health insurance.


Psychoactive drugs are mind-altering. They can change the way you think, act, and feel. Abusing drugs may make you feel invincible, excited, and euphoric. You may behave in a way that is out of character for you, like becoming hostile, paranoid, or even violent. Psychotic side effects like hallucinations and delusions are also a possibility when you abuse some drugs. These behaviors can be erratic or unpredictable.


Drug use can also lead to overdose, which can cause coma, brain damage, and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 100,000 people died from a drug overdose in the United States between April 2020 and April 2021. When drugs build up in your body and have toxic effects, you can overdose, even in as little as one dose. A drug overdose may not always be fatal. If you seek immediate medical attention, it may be reversible.


It was once thought that surges of the neurotransmitter dopamine produced by drugs directly caused the euphoria, but scientists now think dopamine has more to do with getting us to repeat pleasurable activities (reinforcement) than with producing pleasure directly.


A visually appealing booklet for students that explains how drugs change the way the communication centers in the brain work and ultimately cause their effects. This booklet is part of the Mind Matters series focused on easy-to-understand scientific facts.


Drug use can lead to serious changes in the brain that affect how a person thinks and acts. It can also cause other medical problems, even death. Some drugs can cause heart disease, cancer, lung problems, and mental health conditions, like depression. A few drugs can even kill cells in your brain and body and make it hard to walk and talk and understand what's happening around you.


If you think a friend or family member has a problem with drugs, talk to an adult you trust - like a parent, coach, or teacher - right away. Remember, treatment is available and people can get better.


PCP is a mind-altering drug. This means it acts on your brain (central nervous system) and changes your mood, behavior, and the way you relate to the world around you. Scientists think it blocks the normal actions of certain brain chemicals.


PCP is in a class of drugs called hallucinogens. These are substances that cause hallucinations. These are things that you see, hear, or feel while awake that appear to be real, but instead have been created by the mind.


Marijuana shows considerable promise for treating medical conditions including pain, muscle spasms, seizure disorders and nausea from cancer chemotherapy. At least some of those benefits are thought to come from cannabidiol, a chemical component of the marijuana plant not thought to produce mind-altering effects. But there's a lot left to learn about this and other chemical compounds in marijuana. Recently, the Senate recommended $800,000 for an Institute of Medicine study on medical marijuana, and has also encouraged the National Institutes of Health to support more research on cannabidiol.


There are four main ideas in relapse prevention. First, relapse is a gradual process with distinct stages. The goal of treatment is to help individuals recognize the early stages, in which the chances of success are greatest [1]. Second, recovery is a process of personal growth with developmental milestones. Each stage of recovery has its own risks of relapse [2]. Third, the main tools of relapse prevention are cognitive therapy and mind-body relaxation, which change negative thinking and develop healthy coping skills [3]. Fourth, most relapses can be explained in terms of a few basic rules [4]. Educating clients in these few rules can help them focus on what is important.


These are some of the signs of mental relapse [1]: 1) craving for drugs or alcohol; 2) thinking about people, places, and things associated with past use; 3) minimizing consequences of past use or glamorizing past use; 4) bargaining; 5) lying; 6) thinking of schemes to better control using; 7) looking for relapse opportunities; and 8) planning a relapse.


Cannabis (marijuana) use during pregnancy is not recommended, as some studies show that prenatal cannabis use is linked to lower birth weights and to difficulties for children later in life, including problems with attention, memory, problem-solving and behavior. Cannabis smoke contains many of the same toxic, cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke, thus exposure to that smoke may cause pregnancy complications. THC, the psychoactive or mind-altering compound in cannabis, also may be passed to infants through secondhand smoke.


Substituted cathinones, also called "bath salts," are psychoactive substances similar to amphetamines such as Ecstasy (MDMA) or Adderall. Despite the name, these are not bath products such as Epsom salts. Substituted cathinones can be eaten, inhaled or injected and are highly addictive. These drugs can cause severe intoxication that results in dangerous health effects or even death.


According to current research, Ayahuasca may protect brain cells and stimulate neural cell growth. It may also boost mood, improve mindfulness, and treat depression and addiction disorders, though more research is needed to confirm these effects.


Drug convictions have increased more than 1,000 percent since the drug war began. To get a sense of how large a contribution the war on drugs has made to mass incarceration, think of it this way: There are more people in prisons and jails today just for drug offenses then were incarcerated for all reasons in 1980.


Blood thinners can cause side effects. Bleeding is the most common problem. Your doctor will watch you closely. If you notice something wrong that you think may be caused by your medication, call your doctor.


It will be many years before we know whether it is possible for the mind to control the immune defense system. Experiments with biofeedback and visualization are helpful in that they encourage positive thinking and provide relaxation, thereby increasing the will to live. But they can also be damaging if a patient puts all of his or her faith in them and ignores conventional therapy.


Alcohol I think is more mysterious to us inmany respects than drugs, but one of the most tellingfeatures that I acquire, one of the best pieces ofinformation that I acquired was from Mark Rosenberg at theCenter for Disease Control, who did an analysis on theyouth violence early on when I first came to Washington.


We've got to make sure that everypediatrician in America understands that. We have got tomake sure and work in the industry to help them understandand help them help us convey to the American people thedangers of alcohol for youngsters across America. This Ithink is one of our greatest challenges. These are the approaches. This is the way Iwould kind of try to organize things in my mind this ideaof what we do.


Research has shown that statins are highly effective in reducing the risk of fatal heart attack and stroke. But some people are reluctant to take these life-saving drugs. They worry about taking medicine every day for the rest of their life or have heard that statins have undesirable side effects. What does science have to say about these concerns and others surrounding statins? We talked to UH interventional cardiologist Ian Neeland, MD, Director of the Center of Cardiovascular Prevention at University Hospitals, to learn more.


You know, certainly if you're allergic to the statin or the components of the statin medication, that will be a situation which you would want to choose an alternative medication. You mentioned about memory or dementia. Well, you know, the truth is that memory issues tend to occur in the same age group in people that take statins. So, it's really difficult to know if it's the statin or it's other factors. The initial concerns about dementia came from self reports to the Food and Drug Administration, but it turned out that many reports where people who took the drug for really one day only. So, it's unlikely that drug had had any effect whatsoever. And we do know that we have more reliable data that come from other studies, including over 20,000 people taking statins. And the result of that is that there's really no effect of statins on thinking or memory issues. And so, in general, although there are some potential side effects long-term for statins, in most cases, if your doctor has identified you as having high cholesterol and needing a statin, the risks greatly outweigh, or sorry, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks.


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