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For other uses, see Drug (disambiguation). Drug_sentence_0

A drug is any substance that causes a change in an organism's physiology or psychology when consumed. Drug_sentence_1

Drugs are typically distinguished from food and substances that provide nutritional support. Drug_sentence_2

Consumption of drugs can be via inhalation, injection, smoking, ingestion, absorption via a patch on the skin, suppository, or dissolution under the tongue. Drug_sentence_3

In pharmacology, a drug is a chemical substance, typically of known structure, which, when administered to a living organism, produces a biological effect. Drug_sentence_4

A pharmaceutical drug, also called a medication or medicine, is a chemical substance used to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose a disease or to promote well-being. Drug_sentence_5

Traditionally drugs were obtained through extraction from medicinal plants, but more recently also by organic synthesis. Drug_sentence_6

Pharmaceutical drugs may be used for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders. Drug_sentence_7

Pharmaceutical drugs are often classified into drug classes—groups of related drugs that have similar chemical structures, the same mechanism of action (binding to the same biological target), a related mode of action, and that are used to treat the same disease. Drug_sentence_8

The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System (ATC), the most widely used drug classification system, assigns drugs a unique ATC code, which is an alphanumeric code that assigns it to specific drug classes within the ATC system. Drug_sentence_9

Another major classification system is the Biopharmaceutics Classification System. Drug_sentence_10

This classifies drugs according to their solubility and permeability or absorption properties. Drug_sentence_11

Psychoactive drugs are chemical substances that affect the function of the central nervous system, altering perception, mood or consciousness. Drug_sentence_12

These drugs are divided into different groups like: stimulants, depressants, antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and hallucinogens. Drug_sentence_13

These psychoactive drugs have been proven useful in treating wide range of medical conditions including mental disorders around the world. Drug_sentence_14

The most widely used drugs in the world include caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, which are also considered recreational drugs, since they are used for pleasure rather than medicinal purposes. Drug_sentence_15

All drugs can have potential side effects. Drug_sentence_16

Abuse of several psychoactive drugs can cause psychological or physical addiction. Drug_sentence_17

Excessive use of stimulants can promote stimulant psychosis. Drug_sentence_18

Many recreational drugs are illicit and international treaties such as the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs exist for the purpose of their prohibition. Drug_sentence_19

Etymology Drug_section_0

In English, the noun "drug" is thought to originate from Old French "drogue", possibly deriving from "droge (vate)" from Middle Dutch meaning "dry (barrels)", referring to medicinal plants preserved as dry matter in barrels. Drug_sentence_20

Medication Drug_section_1

Main articles: Pharmaceutical drug and Drug class Drug_sentence_21

A medication or medicine is a drug taken to cure or ameliorate any symptoms of an illness or medical condition. Drug_sentence_22

The use may also be as preventive medicine that has future benefits but does not treat any existing or pre-existing diseases or symptoms. Drug_sentence_23

Dispensing of medication is often regulated by governments into three categories—over-the-counter medications, which are available in pharmacies and supermarkets without special restrictions; behind-the-counter medicines, which are dispensed by a pharmacist without needing a doctor's prescription, and prescription only medicines, which must be prescribed by a licensed medical professional, usually a physician. Drug_sentence_24

In the United Kingdom, behind-the-counter medicines are called pharmacy medicines which can only be sold in registered pharmacies, by or under the supervision of a pharmacist. Drug_sentence_25

These medications are designated by the letter P on the label. Drug_sentence_26

The range of medicines available without a prescription varies from country to country. Drug_sentence_27

Medications are typically produced by pharmaceutical companies and are often patented to give the developer exclusive rights to produce them. Drug_sentence_28

Those that are not patented (or with expired patents) are called generic drugs since they can be produced by other companies without restrictions or licenses from the patent holder. Drug_sentence_29

Pharmaceutical drugs are usually categorised into drug classes. Drug_sentence_30

A group of drugs will share a similar chemical structure, or have the same mechanism of action, the same related mode of action or target the same illness or related illnesses. Drug_sentence_31

The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System (ATC), the most widely used drug classification system, assigns drugs a unique ATC code, which is an alphanumeric code that assigns it to specific drug classes within the ATC system. Drug_sentence_32

Another major classification system is the Biopharmaceutics Classification System. Drug_sentence_33

This groups drugs according to their solubility and permeability or absorption properties. Drug_sentence_34

Spiritual and religious use Drug_section_2

Main article: Entheogen Drug_sentence_35

Some religions, particularly ethnic religions, are based completely on the use of certain drugs, known as entheogens, which are mostly hallucinogens,—psychedelics, dissociatives, or deliriants. Drug_sentence_36

Some drugs used as entheogens include kava which can act as a stimulant, a sedative, a euphoriant and an anesthetic. Drug_sentence_37

The roots of the kava plant are used to produce a drink which is consumed throughout the cultures of the Pacific Ocean. Drug_sentence_38

Some shamans from different cultures use entheogens, defined as "generating the divine within" to achieve religious ecstasy. Drug_sentence_39

Amazonian shamans use ayahuasca (yagé) a hallucinogenic brew for this purpose. Drug_sentence_40

Mazatec shamans have a long and continuous tradition of religious use of Salvia divinorum a psychoactive plant. Drug_sentence_41

Its use is to facilitate visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions. Drug_sentence_42

Silene undulata is regarded by the Xhosa people as a sacred plant and used as an entheogen. Drug_sentence_43

Its roots are traditionally used to induce vivid (and according to the Xhosa, prophetic) lucid dreams during the initiation process of shamans, classifying it a naturally occurring oneirogen similar to the more well-known dream herb Calea ternifolia. Drug_sentence_44

Peyote a small spineless cactus has been a major source of psychedelic mescaline and has probably been used by Native Americans for at least five thousand years. Drug_sentence_45

Most mescaline is now obtained from a few species of columnar cacti in particular from San Pedro and not from the vulnerable peyote. Drug_sentence_46

The entheogenic use of cannabis has also been widely practised for centuries. Drug_sentence_47

Rastafari use marijuana (ganja) as a sacrament in their religious ceremonies. Drug_sentence_48

Psychedelic mushrooms (psilocybin mushrooms), commonly called magic mushrooms or shrooms have also long been used as entheogens. Drug_sentence_49

Smart drugs and designer drugs Drug_section_3

Main articles: Nootropic and Designer drug Drug_sentence_50

Nootropics, also commonly referred to as "smart drugs", are drugs that are claimed to improve human cognitive abilities. Drug_sentence_51

Nootropics are used to improve memory, concentration, thought, mood, and learning. Drug_sentence_52

An increasingly used nootropic among students, also known as a study drug, is methylphenidate branded commonly as Ritalin and used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Drug_sentence_53

At high doses methylphenidate can become highly addictive. Drug_sentence_54

Serious addiction can lead to psychosis, anxiety and heart problems, and the use of this drug is related to a rise in suicides, and overdoses. Drug_sentence_55

Evidence for use outside of student settings is limited but suggests that it is commonplace. Drug_sentence_56

Intravenous use of methylphenidate can lead to emphysematous damage to the lungs, known as Ritalin lung. Drug_sentence_57

Other drugs known as designer drugs are produced. Drug_sentence_58

An early example of what today would be labelled a 'designer drug' was LSD, which was synthesised from ergot. Drug_sentence_59

Other examples include analogs of performance-enhancing drugs such as designer steroids taken to improve physical capabilities and these are sometimes used (legally or not) for this purpose, often by professional athletes. Drug_sentence_60

Other designer drugs mimic the effects of psychoactive drugs. Drug_sentence_61

Since the late 1990s there has been the identification of many of these synthesised drugs. Drug_sentence_62

In Japan and the United Kingdom this has spurred the addition of many designer drugs into a newer class of controlled substances known as a temporary class drug. Drug_sentence_63

Synthetic cannabinoids have been produced for a longer period of time and are used in the designer drug synthetic cannabis. Drug_sentence_64

Recreational drug use Drug_section_4

Main article: Recreational drug use Drug_sentence_65

Further information: Prohibition of drugs Drug_sentence_66

Recreational drug use is the use of a drug (legal, controlled, or illegal) with the primary intention of altering the state of consciousness through alteration of the central nervous system in order to create positive emotions and feelings. Drug_sentence_67

The hallucinogen LSD is a psychoactive drug commonly used as a recreational drug. Drug_sentence_68

Some national laws prohibit the use of different recreational drugs; and medicinal drugs that have the potential for recreational use are often heavily regulated. Drug_sentence_69

However, there are many recreational drugs that are legal in many jurisdictions and widely culturally accepted. Drug_sentence_70

Cannabis is the most commonly consumed controlled recreational drug in the world (as of 2012). Drug_sentence_71

Its use in many countries is illegal but is legally used in several countries usually with the proviso that it can only be used for personal use. Drug_sentence_72

It can be used in the leaf form of marijuana (grass), or in the resin form of hashish. Drug_sentence_73

Marijuana is a more mild form of cannabis than hashish. Drug_sentence_74

There may be an age restriction on the consumption and purchase of legal recreational drugs. Drug_sentence_75

Some recreational drugs that are legal and accepted in many places include alcohol, tobacco, betel nut, and caffeine products, and in some areas of the world the legal use of drugs such as khat is common. Drug_sentence_76

There are a number of legal intoxicants commonly called legal highs that are used recreationally. Drug_sentence_77

The most widely used of these is alcohol. Drug_sentence_78

Administration of drugs Drug_section_5

Main article: Route of administration Drug_sentence_79

All drugs, can be administered via a number of routes, and many can be administered by more than one. Drug_sentence_80

Control of drugs Drug_section_6

There are numerous governmental offices in many countries that deal with the control and oversee of drug manufacture and use, and the implementation of various drug laws. Drug_sentence_81

The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is an international treaty brought about in 1961 to prohibit the use of narcotics save for those used in medical research and treatment. Drug_sentence_82

In 1971, a second treaty the Convention on Psychotropic Substances had to be introduced to deal with newer recreational psychoactive and psychedelic drugs. Drug_sentence_83

The legal status of Salvia divinorum varies in many countries and even in states within the United States. Drug_sentence_84

Where it is legislated against the degree of prohibition also varies. Drug_sentence_85

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States is a federal agency responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription and over-the-counter medications, vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, electromagnetic radiation emitting devices, cosmetics, animal foods and veterinary drugs. Drug_sentence_86

In India, the Narcotics Control Bureau (abbr. NCB) ,an Indian federal law enforcement and intelligence agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India is tasked with combating drug trafficking and assisting international use of illegal substances under the provisions of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. Drug_sentence_87

See also Drug_section_7

Lists of drugs Drug_section_8


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug.