Form 1:
Introduction to Chemistry

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Drugs

A drug is a natural or synthetic/man-made substance that when taken changes/alter the body functioning.

A natural or synthetic/man-made substance that when taken changes/alter the abnormal body functioning to normal is called medicine.

Medicines are thus drugs intended to correct abnormal body functions. . Medicines should therefore be taken on prescription and dosage.

A prescription is a medical instruction to a patient/sick on the correct type of medicine to take and period/time between one intake to the other.

A dosage is the correct quantity of drug required to alter the abnormal body function back to normal. This is called treatment. It is the professional work of qualified doctors/pharmacists to administer correct prescription and dosage of drugs/medicine to the sick.

Prescription and dosage of drugs/medicine to the sick use medical language. Example

(i) 2 x 4 ; means 2 tablets for solid drugs/spoonfuls for liquid drugs taken 4 times for a duration of one day/24 hours and then repeated and continued until all the drug given is finished.

(ii) 1 x 2 ; means 1 tablets for solid drugs/spoonfuls for liquid drugs taken 2 times for a duration of one day(24 hours )and then repeated and continued until all the drug given is finished.

Some drugs need minimal prescription and thus are available without pharmacist/ doctor's prescription. They are called Over The Counter (OTC) drugs. OTC drugs used to treat mild headaches, stomach upsets, common cold include:

(i) Painkillers

(ii) Anti-acids

(iii) cold/flu drugs.

All medicine requires correct intake dosage. When a prescription dosage is not followed, this is called drug misuse/abuse. Some drugs are used for other purposes other than that intended. This is called drug abuse.

Drug abuse is when a drug is intentionally used to alter the normal functioning of the body. The intentional abnormal function of the drug is to make the victim have false feeling of well being.

The victim lack both mental and physical co-ordination. Some drugs that induce a false feeling of well being are illegal. They include heroin, cocaine, bhang, mandrax and morphine.

Some abused drugs which are not illegal include: miraa, alcohol, tobacco, sleeping pills.

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