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Effects of Different Types of Drugs

Introduction

Drugs are designed to alter specific body functions and consequently can alter the ability to perceive, make sound judgments, and react quickly.

Every Body is Different

There are several types of drugs, including alcohol. How a drug interacts with your body depends on the dosage, food intake, and body weight/metabolism. Each type of drug has a potentially harmful effect on the body and the ability to safely operate a vehicle.

The body reacts to drugs in many ways, many are unpredictable. This is especially true when drugs are combined.

Adverse effects of different types of drugs include:
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Faintness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired reflexes
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Inattention
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Panic
  • Fear
  • Hallucination
  • Hyperactivity
  • Bleeding in the stomach and intestines
This is not a complete list, but are the most common adverse effects of drugs on the body. Clearly, if a person is experiencing these effects, they should not be behind the wheel.

This module will address the types of drugs, their effects, and the importance of understanding what happens when drugs are absorbed into the system. This module introduces you to the effects of different types of drugs. The topics that will be covered include:
  1. Types of Drugs
  2. Synergistic Effects
  3. Drink Equivalency
  4. Physiological Aspects of Drug Use
  5. Legal Drugs
1. Types of Drugs

Never drive a motor vehicle after taking a substance which alters the central nervous system. This includes over-the-counter, prescription, and of course, illegal drugs.

The following categories of drugs have known side effects that include impaired attention, reaction time, and vision:
  • Antihistamines
  • Pain Relievers
  • Tranquilizers
  • Hallucinogens
  • Stimulants
  • Narcotics
Antihistamines - These drugs are used to relieve colds, allergies, and motion sickness. They also can cause decreased alertness, relaxation, slowed reaction time, and drowsiness.

Pain Relievers - Sometimes called “Analgesics,” these drugs can be either over-the-counter or by prescription. The opiate narcotics can have side effects such as drowsiness, mental clouding, and nausea.

Tranquilizers - This group of drugs is used to treat anxiety, stress disorders, and muscle tremors. Since they depress the body, they can cause thinking problems and motor ability loss.

Hallucinogens - These drugs (LSD, Peyote, and MDMA are examples) cause sensory and emotional distortions. Sense of time and space may be dramatically altered and a person may see colors and hear sounds.

Stimulants - Stimulant drugs may cause pleasant feelings, increased energy, and a state of euphoria (high). They include cocaine, amphetamines, and caffeine. Side effects are restlessness, irritability, and hallucinations. All stimulants (Uppers) are drugs that elevate mood, increase energy and alertness, and give a feeling of euphoria in users.

Stimulants are drugs that give you a boost by temporarily increasing alertness and physical activity and can cause increase in heart and respiratory rates, elevated blood pressure, a loss of appetite, dilated pupils, and decreased appetite. In addition, users may experience sweating, headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Large doses of stimulants will cause a rapid or an irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, and even physical collapse.

Stimulants increase alertness, attention, and energy, as well as elevate blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and boost mood Also wakefulness, endurance, productivity, and motivation, arousal, locomotion and a diminished desire for food and sleep. Prescription stimulants increase levels of dopamine in the brain.

Narcotics - Used for pain relief, anti-cough medications, and treatment of diarrhea, these drugs can produce insensibility and stupor. Narcotics (opioid pain medications) only relieve pain. Effects of Opiates include Euphoria, Induce sleep, Induce relaxation, constipation, warmth, heaviness.


2. Synergistic Effects


It is very dangerous to combine alcohol and other drugs.

One of the qualities of alcohol is that it is synergistic. Synergism is a reaction to mixing alcohol with any other drug, this means that alcohol will combine with other things in one's system. Do not mix alcohol and other drugs. The effects of the alcohol and the other drug are combined and magnified. The interaction is unpredictable; it varies from one person to another, or even the same person at different times. Synergism refers to the interaction of two drugs in such a way that the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects.

Combining different drugs may cause a more intense effect than if you only take one drug at a time. This effect is called synergism and is unpredictable and extremely dangerous. Synergism occurs when the effect of one drug is enhanced by the presence of another drug. Just like any chemical reaction, chemicals might be stable alone, but when mixed, a dangerous chemical reaction can occur.

If you combine similar drugs, for example, two depressants, the effect of combining two might be similar to taking three. This is especially true with alcohol.

The same is true for combining drugs that have opposite effects. You may have different reactions to the individual drugs.

Never combine drugs and use legal drugs only as recommended. This effect is not only for alcohol/drug combinations, but drug A to drug B combinations.

3. Drink Equivalency

There is a great deal of misinformation about the amount of alcohol in various beverages.

The average alcohol content of beer is 4.8% by volume.

Examples include (all are by volume):
  • Budweiser - 5.0%
  • Bud Dry - 5.0%
  • Icehouse (ale) - 5.5%
  • Bud Ice Draft (beer) - 4.8%
  • Lite Ice (ale) - 5.5%
  • Bud Ice Draft Lite (beer) - 4.3%
  • Schlitz (beer) - 4.6%
  • Bull Ice Malt Liquor - 7.7%
  • Molson Ice (ale) - 5.3%
  • Coors Arctic Ice (ale) - 5.3%
  • Iceman Malt Liquor - 6.1%
  • Zima (beer) - 4.6%
  • Coors Light - 4.0%
  • Michelob - 5.0%
To compute the amount of alcohol in the average beer, multiply 12 oz. by 4.8%. Repeat this process using a cooler (12 oz. X 5%) and 1 oz. whiskey X 40% alcohol, and a 4 oz. glass of wine X 12% alcohol. Proof means twice the alcoholic content of the beverage. Thus 80-proof = 40% alcohol, etc.

The comparison will look like this:
12 oz. beer 12 oz. cooler 1 oz. whiskey 4 oz. wine
.048 .05 .40 .12
.58 oz. alcohol .60 oz. alcohol .40 oz. alcohol .48 oz. alcohol

It can be seen that, for the servings of alcohol content used, they all have differing amounts of alcohol, but that beer actually has more alcohol than whiskey, and the cooler is even stronger. In terms of percent, beer has 44% more alcohol than whiskey, and the cooler has 50% more alcohol than whiskey. In addition to coolers, a category called “low alcohol refreshers” has come on the market. These are similar to coolers and may not have the alcohol content printed on the label, but actually have more alcohol than a regular beer. For example, a Bacardi Breezer has 5.1% alcohol. While this may seem an insignificant difference as compared to beer, it is important to realize that a person can become very impaired on coolers or other similar drinks.

It does take more ounces of beer than whiskey to become impaired, but people tend to drink more beer (total ounces) than whiskey. If a person only drank one of any of the four examples used, the BAL reached would not be dramatically different. The difference could be huge if a person drank a 6-pack of beer or coolers vs. drinking six 1 oz. shots of 80-proof whiskey.

On an empty stomach, a shot/drop of whiskey on your tongue can be detected in your arm in seven seconds. Within two minutes, it touches every major part of your body.

There are a variety of shot sizes (3/4, 7/8, 1 1/4, 1 1/2 oz.) and sizes of beer (12, 16, 20, 24, 32, 40 oz.) The results of using these levels will only cause a slight difference. There are also an infinite number of ways to mix alcoholic beverages, so a drink by drink comparison can only be made when size and alcohol content of the drinks involved are known. Many mixed drinks (Long Island Iced Tea, margaritas, etc.) have increased amounts of alcohol, and one of these drinks may equal two, three, or more of a standard drink.

4. Physiological Aspects of Drug Use

Use

Alcohol is a toxic substance. Its use causes irritation. For example, if you pour alcohol on a cut, it hurts. Many people use or experiment with consuming alcohol. A part of our culture is the availability of alcohol at many social occasions. Society often pressures people to “use” alcohol - the use of alcohol has no benefit to the body or society.

Abuse

Abuse means abnormal “use.” Excessive consumption of alcohol or other drugs affects the physiology of the body in many ways, a number of which were covered in module 2.1, Short-term Effects.

Other parts of the body that experience negative physiological effects include:
  • Skin
  • Kidneys
  • Endocrine system
  • Hearing
  • Sexual organs
  • Blood
Dependence

Physical dependence reflects changes in the way organs and body systems respond to a drug (a physical need has been achieved). Withdrawal from the drug produces adverse effects. Persons who are physically dependent have social, personal skills, relationship, and brain and motor function problems.

Addiction

This is defined as “a state of periodic or chronic impairment detrimental to the individual and society,” which is characterized by an overwhelming desire to continue taking the drug and to obtain it by “any means.” Persons who become physically addicted to any drug require medical and psychological help.

Drug or alcohol addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease/illness and is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.

Almost all drugs have some potentially dangerous side effects. This includes legally prescribed drugs and over-the-counter medications.

Legal Medications

Persons prescribed a medication by a doctor should ask about possible negative effects of the drug on driving and other activities. The warnings which come with prescriptions should also be read and closely followed.

Over-the-Counter Drugs

These may be obtained with no knowledge or oversight by a physician. Care should be taken to read the warning label of all over-the-counter drugs. Always take the correct dose and use care when driving or participating in activities where side effects may cause problems.

There are several types of drugs. Never drive a motor vehicle after taking a substance which alters the central nervous system. This includes over-the-counter, prescription, and of course, illegal drugs.

The following categories of drugs have known side effects that include impaired attention, reaction time, and vision:
  • Antihistamines
  • Pain Relievers
  • Tranquilizers
  • Hallucinogens
  • Stimulants
  • Narcotics
It is very dangerous to combine alcohol and other drugs. Synergism occurs when the effect of one drug is enhanced by the presence of another drug. A multiplying rather than additive effect may occur.

It takes more ounces of beer than whiskey to become impaired, but people tend to drink more beer (total ounces) than whiskey. Regarding the servings of assorted alcohol beverages, they all have differing amounts of alcohol. Beer actually has more alcohol than whiskey and coolers are even stronger. There are also an infinite number of ways to mix alcoholic beverages so a drink by drink comparison can only be made when size and alcohol content of the drinks involved are known.

Alcohol is a toxic substance. The use of alcohol has no benefit to the body or society. Abuse or excessive consumption of alcohol or other drugs affects the physiology of the body in many ways. If a body becomes accustomed to the presence of alcohol continuously, a physical dependence develops and changes in the way organs and body systems respond to a drug. Addiction is “a state of periodic or chronic impairment detrimental to the individual and society, which is characterized by an overwhelming desire to continue taking the drug and to obtain it by any means.”

Almost all drugs have some potentially dangerous side effects. Read the warning labels on prescriptions and closely follow the instructions about combining the drug with other drugs and warning not to operate heavy machinery (your vehicle).

If you buy an over-the-counter medication for a cold or other condition, take the correct dose and use care when driving or participating in activities where side effects may cause problems.


Blood Alcohol Level and Impaired driving

Alcohol affects your driving ability

The Cost of Alcohol and Drug Impairment

Psychological factors related to alcohol and other drugs

Effects of Different Types of Drugs

Stress, emotions, and fatigue

Factors related to alcohol absorption and Long-Term Effects of Alcohol and Other Drugs




Florida TLSAE/Drug & Alcohol 4 hour Course Online

Who is required to take this 4-hour drug and alcohol course?


This is a first-time drivers ed course for new aspiring drivers. The state of Florida requires all new drivers take a 4-hour drug and alcohol course. If you want your Permit License you must take this course. You can take the DATA course when you are 14 1/2. You can sign up right now at our website. Our course is easy and fun!
  •     Florida 4 hour first-time drivers course also referred as:
  •     TLSAE - Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education
  •     DATA - Drug Alcohol Traffic Awareness course
  •     DATE Drug Alcohol Traffic Awareness Education course
  •     ADAPT - Alcohol Drugs Accident Prevention Training
  •     Drug & Alcohol Course or Drug and Alcohol Class
  •     Florida Permit Test or Florida Permit Exam Course
  •     The Permit Test is also known as the DMV Exam or DMV Test
Florida first time driver course required to get a Florida drivers license. Florida first time driver courses teach drivers how drugs and alcohol affect driving,. In that situation you have to go home, make a new appointment and return the DMV. Every new driver is required to take a Florida TLSAE course.

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