Essay: Types of Drugs
Essay: Types of Drugs
Drugs which are taken by medications can be divided into two categories. These are performance enhancers and non-performance enhancers. There are a number of performance enhancing drugs available to the athletes who wish you use them. These can be classified as Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, Stimulants and Hormones.
Performance Enhancing Drugs
Anabolic Androgenic Steroids
Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are man-made variants of the naturally occurring testosterone, which is the male sex hormone. The term “Anabolic” referees to building of muscles while androgenic refers to the increased male sexual characteristics. AAS can be legally prescribed to treat the conditions of hormone deficiency, such as delayed puberty as well as diseases in which lean muscle mass is reduced. In medical profession, AAS are giving to improve the muscle growth and tissue regeneration for elderly or post operative patients, however, they are widely used by athletes as well to build muscles and improve strength so that their performance can be enhanced. The side effects of AAS include coronary heart diseases, sexual or reproductive disorders, immunodeficiency’s as well as liver damage, stunted growth, aggressive behavior and irreversible vacuolization in females (Yesalis, 2000).
Stimulants, also called psycho stimulants are drugs which can induce temporary improvements in either mental or physical function or both. Stimulants produce a variety of effects by enhancing the alertness, awareness, endurance, motivation, increase arousal, heart rate, blood pressure as well as the perception of diminished hunger and thirst. Popular groups of stimulating drugs include Amphetamines, Methamphetamines, Ephedrine, and Fenfluramine. Amphetamines belong to the group of phenyl ethylamine stimulants. They increase the level of neropinephrine and dopamine in the brain through inhibition of reuptake. Another important mechanism through which amphetamines stimulate the body is by directly releasing catecholamine from storage vesicles in cells. Methamphetamines are psycho stimulants which enter the brain and trigger a cascading release of dopamine and nor epinephrine which can induce intense euphoria, and can cause the user to become obsessed with a task or activity. Ephedrine on the other hand is a sypathomimetic drug which is used to suppress appetite and concentration aid. It increases the activity of noradrenalin in the sympathetic nervous system which indirectly stimulates the adrenergic receptor system. Ephedrine is used in combination with other supplements to fasten the metabolic rate of the body and is one of the popular supplements taken by body builders to increase the amount of energy and alertness during their workouts. Fenfluramine, another amphetamine, is another appetite inhibitor, which cause the release of serotonin by disrupting vesicular storage of neurotransmitter and reversal of the serotonin transporter function. As a result the user gets a feeling of fullness and loss of appetite. However, the drug was withdrawn from the market in 1997 after several reported cases of heart valve disease and cardiac fibrosis (O’Leary, 2007).