I. What is Drugs?
, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into
the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function. There is no
single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law,
government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage.
In pharmacology, a drug is "a chemical substance used in the treatment,
cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance
physical or mental well-being." Drugs may be prescribed for a limited
duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders.
Recreational drugs are chemical substances that affect the central nervous
system, such as opioids or hallucinogens. They may be used for perceived
beneficial effects on perception, consciousness, personality, and behavior.
Some drugs can cause addiction and habituation.
Drugs are usually distinguished from endogenous biochemicals by being
introduced from outside the organism. For example, insulin is a hormone
that is synthesized in the body; it is called a hormone when it is synthesized
by the pancreas inside the body, but if it is introduced into the body from
outside, it is called a drug.
Many natural substances such as beers, wines, and some mushrooms, blur
the line between food and drugs, as when ingested they affect the
functioning of both mind and body.