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Medicines and Drugs. What you need to know…. Drugs vs. Medicines. Activity : Get into your groups. Brainstorm with your group all the drugs and all the medicines you can think of. Create 2 separate lists, one for each. Be ready to share your answers. Medicines vs. Drugs.

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medicines and drugs

Medicines and Drugs

What you need to know…

drugs vs medicines
Drugs vs. Medicines

Activity: Get into your groups. Brainstorm with your group all the drugs and all the medicines you can think of. Create 2 separate lists, one for each. Be ready to share your answers.

medicines vs drugs
Medicines vs. Drugs

Medicines: Are drugs that are used to treat or prevent disease or other conditions.

Drugs: are substances other than food that change the structure or function of the body or mind.

There are 4 reasons medicines are taken, can you name any?

-To Prevent disease

-Fight Illness

-Reduce pain

-Promote health


That Prevent Disease: Vaccines, or drugs introduced into the body to stimulate an immune response, are preventative. They contain weakened or dead pathogens that stimulate the body to produce antibodies, which provide long-lasting protection against those specific pathogens.

Examples: Measles vaccine, Hepatitis vaccine, Polio vaccine, Flu shot

Let’s see how they do it…


That fight illness: Antibiotics, which work by killing harmful bacteria in the body or preventing bacteria from reproducing, fight illness. They have no effect on viruses, only bacteria.

Examples: Penicillin, Amoxicillin, Z-PAC

  • A Virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms.

A virus is not alive and cannot

survive on its own.

A virus seeks out host cells to be

able to multiply.

Antibiotics have no effect on a virus since it is not bacterial.

The human immune system is the only way for your body to get rid of a virus.

  • Examples: The common cold, the flu, AIDS, West Nile, hepatitis, and many more.

Question: How does the immune system kill a virus?

T-Cells seek out the infected cells that have multiplied and destroy them.

Question: How can someone die from the common cold or the flu?

With an already weakened immune system from a virus or disease, the immune system may not be able to contain the virus, allowing it to spread and overtake the body.


That Reduce Pain: The most common type of medicines, Analgesics, reduce pain. Range from mild to strong.

Examples: Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil (Ibuprofen), Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic acid), Morphine and Codeine (Opium based)

How do they work?


That Promote Health: Drugs that maintain or restore health and allow people to function with a degree of wellness.

Examples: Allergy Medicines (allergies), Inhalers (asthma), Blood pressure medication, Zoloft and Prozac (depression), Xanax (anxiety)

How do anti-depressants work?

when something goes wrong
When something goes wrong…
  • What happens when the user has a reaction to a medicine other than what was intended?

Side Effects

What are some side effects to common medicines?

Vasotec: Used for the treatment of congestive heart failure

Side effect: Can cause the inability to smell

Chantix: Used to help quit smoking

Side effect: Possible Hallucinations

side effects
Side Effects…

Xeloda: Used to treat different types of cancer

Side effect: Possible inflammation of the hands and feet

Viagra: Used to treat erectile dysfunction

Side effect: Possibly can’t distinguish between blue and green

Propecia: Used to reverse hair loss or baldness in men

Side effect: Men can develop mammary glands

Zoloft: Used to treat depression

Side effect: Can cause an erection for 3 hours or more

synergistic effect
Synergistic Effect
  • A synergistic effect occurs when a user takes 2 or more drugs/medicines which causes an effect that is far greater and potentially dangerous than if the medicines were taken separately.

Can anyone provide an example of a synergistic effect?

Mixing depressant drug such as alcohol and anti-depressants (Valium, Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac) can cause respiratory distress and ultimately death from relaxing the respiratory system to the point that it can’t function.

medicines vs drugs1
Medicines vs. Drugs

So we know why people take medicines, but why do people take drugs?

Watch this video and write downall of the reasons you can think of why someone would take drugs…

-Stress -Experiment

-Financial Problems -Peer Pressure

-Emotional Problems -Parent’s used

-School Problems -Image

-Work Problems -many more…


Earlier, you named all the drugs you could think of…by now, you should know that any drug use is a high risk behavior.

Substance Abuse: Any unnecessary or improper use of chemical substances for nonmedical purposes.

Many times substance abuse leads to dependence on the drug, which can lead to addiction…

Addiction: A physiological or psychological dependence on a drug.

Physiological: User’s body has a physical, chemical need for the drug in order to function

Psychological: User believes the drug is needed to function


Let’s watch a true story from an addict and how drug use ruined his life. This is true, difficult to watch at times, and powerful.

Show “Addicted” either Alcohol, Heroin or Meth.

signs of addiction
Signs of Addiction
  • Reinforcement…the person’s behavior will become more pleasurable when they have access to the substance.
  • Compulsion…the person will stop at nothing to obtain the substance.
  • Loss of Control…the person can not control the urge and desire for the substance.
  • Escalation…the person will require more and more of the substance as tolerance is built up.
  • Negative Consequences…Problems with family, work, relationships, health, etc will not prevent the person from engaging in the harmful behavior.

Did we see any of these in the video?

how you can help
How you can help?

What do you think you can do to help someone with addiction?

1. Don’t help the person acquire the substance, even if they get


2. Explain how their behavior is hurting you, and repeat it often.

3. Cut off communication with the person unless they change

their behavior.

4. Have an intervention. Gather close friends and family and

have each person write down how the addicted person’s

behavior is hurting them. Gather all those people together

and confront the addicted person.

how can you help
How can you help?

Use the internet to locate local resources that offer support!

1-888-4AL-ANON (Family help dealing with an alcoholic)

212-870-3400 (AA)

1-800-434-7365 (Betty Ford Center)