15 March 2014

#104 Drugs: antibiotics, heroin, alcohol

Drug is any substance taken into the body that modifies or affects chemical reactions in the body. Drug used in medical care, or to relieve mild pain, are very helpful to us. However, some people misuse drugs, so that they cause harm to themselves and to others around them. 

1. Antibiotics kill bacteria in the body

Antibiotics are substances that kill bacteria or prevent their growth, but do not harm other living cells. Most of them are made by fungi. It is thought that the fungi make antibiotics to kill bacteria living near them – bacteria and fungi are both decomposers, so they might compete for food.

The first antibiotic to be discovered was penicillinIt is made by the fungus Penicillium. Penicillin kills bacteria by: 

preventing the production of peptidoglycan that form the cell wall:  
---> the cell continue to grow without dividing or developing new cell wall 
--->the wall gets weaker ---> ruptures (lysis). 

Credit: Scienceaid.co.uk

Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, many more antibiotics have been developed and used to treat bacterial infections. Some bacteria have mutated and become resistant to antibiotics, but new drugs are constantly being developed and tested.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses. Many antibiotics kill bacteria by damaging their cell walls. Viruses do not have cell walls, so they are unharmed by antibiotics. It is difficult to develop drugs that kill viruses without damaging the body’s tissues.

2. Effects of heroin abuse 
  • Heroin is a powerful depressant
  • It is a narcotic, producing a dream-like feeling of relaxation and reducing severe pain. 
  • It is very addictive, leading to dependency (addiction). 
  • Withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant – involving cramp, sleeplessness, violent vomiting, sweating and hallucinations.
  • The body develops a tolerance to the drug, so an addict needs to take increasing amount to achieve the same feeling. This leas t the risk of overdosing on the drug.
  • When injected using unsterilized and shared needles, there is a risk of infections such as hepatitis and HIV.
  • Addiction creates financial problems leading to family breakdown, criminal activity and sexual promiscuity. 

3. Effects of excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Small amounts – alcohol can relax the body and create a sense of wellbeing.
  • Alcohol is a depressant: larger amounts slow down the transmission of electrical impulses in the brain, so reactions are depressed, coordination is impaired and reasoned judgments become difficult. Mood swings involving violence can result.
  • Increase reaction time makes driving and handling machinery dangerous. 
  • Poor judgments may leads to criminal activity and sexual promiscuity.
  • Long-term excessive drinking can lead to addiction (alcoholism).
  • This can lead to financial difficulties and family problems.
  • As the liver removes alcohol from the blood, heavy drinking can leas to liver damage such as cirrhosis.
  • Drinking can cause brain damage, peptic ulcers in the stomach and obesity.
  • Drinking during pregnancy can damage the fetus, increase the risk of miscarriage or premature birth, and reduce the average birth weight. 
 Alcoholism Health Issues.


  1. I wish u had more information

  2. Thanks a lot for such valuable info! I would like to aware the people that how long does heroin stay in your urine and affect on bladder badly. They must be aware through programs.