BRIEF HISTORY OF DRUGS: WHAT WAS AT FIRST
People have been acquainted with drugs since ancient times. Throughout the years, they were used for different purposes: ritual ceremonies, mind influence, painkillers, and even for feeling the surge of energy for bloody battles.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, there were any prohibitions neither on the use of the drug, nor on the production of substances with narcotic effects. Attempts were made to reduce or ban the use of some products, as it happened with Europeans (tea, coffee, and tobacco were considered harmful). However, such laws, usually, were not accepted or were immediately abolished. Moreover, there were times in history when drugs were even encouraged for trade. A notable example of this could be the opium war between China and Britain. And only at the beginning of the 20th century, the society launched a struggle, and drugs were allowed to use only in medicine and only in emergency cases.
MODERN DRUGS SPREADING
In America and Europe, people use the same drugs according to statistics. However, the majority of them were discovered and mastered in America. It was the United States that set the tone in this area, and then it spread to other continents.
So what is “drugs?” The World Health Organization states that it is a chemical substance that exerts a strong influence on the central nervous system when ingested. This may lead to a change in the functions of the body, as well as the appearance of physical dependence.
HARM OF DRUGS
For the first time, the term “drug” was uttered by Galen, a Greek healer, to describe strange substances that caused paralysis or loss of sensitivity. This term was also used by Hippocrates. These substances were originally plants. For example, Galen described the poppy seeds and the mandrake root and stated that these substances affect the nervous system and lead to a psyche change. In medicine, these psychoactive substances are called psychotropic and are used in the mental illness treatment. However, people are often inclined to engage them in self-medication, without even knowing what can happen when abusing the sedatives and other substances. Drugs seize the body for a scanty period, and it’s already impossible to get rid of their use. Their action is tricky. First, a person has a very pleasant feeling. It seems that the danger warning is pure stupidity because you can refuse from using the substance at any second. But, as a rule, pleasant sensations are just a bait on a hook. And the more attractive this bait, the more the hook is swallowed by the victim. After a short time, a person feels psychological dependence.
The negative effect of drugs appears a couple of taken doses after, and sometimes, even after the first time. The insidiousness of these substances is that the first sensations obtained after the use are always the brightest. A person has a natural desire to experience them again, and maybe even increase the feelings. However, the similar sensations are impossible to be experienced again. The acuteness of sensations eludes and soon fades. This leads to the fact that a person not only increases the dose but strives for it more often. This is how the drug dependence develops at first, and then continues at a rapid pace.