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Professor: Ibarra
Steven Davis
November 16, 2017

Alcoholism Journal

Alcoholism on the brain is just about the same as alcohol on the brain. Some of these

things include, difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times,

impaired memory: Clearly, alcohol affects the brain. Some of these impairments are detectable

after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. On the other hand, a

person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well

after he or she achieves sobriety. Exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of

reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today.

One of the biggest things that are different in alcoholics brains compared to a person

who just drinks occasionally is the GABA. GABA is something that happens in an alcoholics

brain that is similar to a heroin addicts brain. It causes them to need the drug and can become

really sick if they do not get it.

Some of the more chronic effects are liver disease, black outs, and Korsakoff syndrome.

Liver disease is caused by the liver filtering out the alcohol and the liver over time starts to

become rubbery like. Then it becomes harder to filter out the bad stuff in the blood stream.

Blackouts can also become a regular thing if you become an alcoholic. If you consume to many

drinks for your body to regulate you become impaired and if you keep consuming more your

brain will start to shut down some parts of the brain and cause blackouts. Also, alcohol can

cause Korsakoff syndrome. Korsakoff syndrome is a memory disorder that alcohol can cause

from the brain that is lacking thiamine. Most cases of Korsakoff syndrome result from alcohol
misuse. Scientists don't yet know why heavy drinking causes severe thiamine deficiency in some

alcoholics, while others may be affected primarily by alcohol's effects on the liver, stomach,

heart, intestines or other body systems.

I feel that alcohol causes more problems than any other drug in this country. It is a very

additive substance that is become socially expectable through most walks of life. It effects the

rich and powerful to the poor and homeless.

Professor: Ibarra
Steven Davis
October 20, 2017
Marijuana Journal

Marijuana has THC and the THC chemical structure is similar to the chemical

anandamide. The THC affects the brain areas that control memory, coordination, pleasure,

movement, coordination, and sensory of time perception. THC will attach its self to the

cannabinoid receptors on the neurons in the brain. The affects of this can cause the user to

have troubles learning and completing complicated tasks. It is also harder to drive and is

dangerous because of delayed reaction time.

Five of the acute effects of marijuana include red eyes, accelerated heart rate, dry

mouth, increased appetite, and impacts short term memory.

Some of the long side effects can include the following. A motivational syndrome,

suppressed immune system and reversed tolerance. A motivational syndrome can happen if

you have used marijuana chronically under the age of 25 years. The brain has not developed

and if the person used it habitually could cause them to loose up to 8 points off their I.Q.

Reverse tolerance is where the user has become sensitive to the marijuanas effects. The could

mean brain damage could occur. Also marijuana can cause immune problems to those that

smoke it. The smoker can have lung symptoms that feel like chronic bronchitis.

The culture of this drug is that it really does not have a specific one. In the sixtys it was

hippies. In the seventies it was disco drug and now it feels like all walks of people use cannabis

throughout every country and culture around the world. My feelings on this plant are nothing
but positive. I know from my own experience that is has helped me with my depression and

anxiety problems. I feel that it should be completely decriminalized. Having seen the positive

effects that it has had on the state of Colorado. They have made a substantial profit from taxing

it than compared to housing and prosecuting ever has. They now have extra funding for schools

and other states are starting to follow suet. I believe that in the next 10 years this may be a


Professor: Ibarra
Steven Davis
September 12, 2017


Once heroin enters the brain through the blood stream and binds to opioid receptors on

cells located in many areas. Some of these parts include feelings of pain, pleasure, heart rate,

sleeping, and breathing.

Some of the short-term or acute effects include. Dry mouth, severe itching, going in and

out of conscious, and nausea. Some of the long-term effects include. Collapsed veins- because

this drug is usually injected and used multiple times a day, users can damage and cause their

veins to collapse. Abscesses- Heroin is so addictive that the user will shoot up multiple times a

day with the same needle instead of using a new one. This can cause infections that can turn

into horrible abscesses that can cause the user to loose a limb that has been infected.

Also heroine can damage the nose almost like cocaine does to people who snort it. The drug

eats the soft tissue of the nose and can pemicurly cause you to loose your sense of smell.

Heroin is one of the deadliest drugs and at least causes the death of thousands of

people each year. Most users who become addicted tend to become so dependent on the drug

that they end up loosing everything. This happens because the withdraw symptoms are so

overpowering that the user can not even function. If the user wants to get clean they have to

go through a week long process. Withdraw symptoms are similar to that of food poisoning.

My overall feeling on this drug is negative and I feel that if doctors would prescribe less

pain killers than less people would become addicted to heroine. This drug is strong and has

taken to many lives and caused people to loose their families. Even the treatment for this drug
(methadone) can become addicting. I hope that I will never have to deal with this drug on a

personal level.

Professor: Ibarra
Steven Davis
September 7, 2017

Learning about how the drug meth became so prominent and destructive to our country

in the 90s it is important to understand how it effects the brain. The most common way to use

the drug is by snorting it but it can also be smoked, injected, and ingested. Meth is a strong

stimulant that mimics dopamine in the brain. The drug triggers a nerve impulse that causes all

of the dopamine to be released at once. This reaction is why the drug is so addictive.

Meth has many side effects and is potently life threatening if used in high doses. Some

of the more notable or acute effects are: Loss of appetite, irregular heartbeat, high blood

pressure, high body temperature, blurred vision, acne and many more.

Some of the more chronic effects include: Meth mouth Most meth addicts end up

loosing their teeth and this is caused by the fact that they are unable to eat or drink. This causes

dry mouth along with the grinding of teeth. The grinding of the teeth is because of tension in

the jaw caused by the drug. Depression Because meth causes the brain to release all the

dopamine at once, it damages the dopamine producers in the brain and after long use of the

drug the brain will no longer be able to produce enough dopamine any longer. It will become

permanent damage causing the user to feel depressed the rest of their life. Psychosis Abuse

of meth can also cause psychosis, were the user of meth loose all perception of reality. They

have intense visual and audible hallucinations. This is dangerous for the user and anyone who is

with the user at that time.

The drug culture for meth is not specific to any set culture. It is used by truckers,

business people and even stay at home moms. I feel most people tend to start using meth as a

way to have energy and get things completed. I can see how this drug would be appeling to

students and anyone who feels they dont have enough time to complete the daily tasks.

My overall filling of this drug is very negative. I have used it a few times in the past but

never really enjoyed the effects it had on me thankfully. I have also seen the effects it had ho

my brother and how it tore his family apart. He lost everything and was suffering from meth-

mouth for years. He has recovered but there is always that chance for him to relapse. In all it is

a horrible destructive drug that kills families and people.

Professor: Ibarra
Steven Davis
September 7, 2017


Cocaine is a stimulant and has similar effects as meth on the brain. Cocaine is usually

snorted but may also be smoked, injected and ingested. The effects of cocaine start effecting

the brain in less than 30 seconds. Some of the mental effects on the brain can be loss of contact

of reality and extreme happiness. Cocaine stops the reuptake process of dopamine, serotonin

and norepinephrine in the brain. In a cense, its like meth in this aspect. Only meth dumps all the

dopamine at once. The effects are felt fast but only last up to 90 minutes. This is why it is so

easy for people to overdose on this drug.

Some of the acute side effects include: Large pupils, accelerated heart rate, swetting,

runny or bloody nose and high blood pressure. Some of the long term side effects can be

addiction, stroke and chance of heart attack. Cocaine is very addictive and because of how

short the effects of the drug last, people have the craving for it all the time. Because of the

increased use of this drug it can cause the brain to hemorrhage and cause you to have a stroke.

You can also increase your likelihood for having a heart attack. Cocaine causes your heart rate

to rise from 10 to 20 extra beats per minute.

The culture of this drug has changed throughout the years. The coca leaves have been

chewed by the South American people for over a thousand years. It was not fully extracted until

1855 and then was used as a local anesthetic. In 1863 a chemist started making wine that was

lased with coca leaves. I think that this is where Coca-Cola got the idea to add it to their drink. It

was also marketed as a cure all remedy. In modern times we can see how the drug causes
destruction and death in the streets. Cocaine is a billion-dollar product that creates its own

demand and people are willing to die for it.

My overall feeling of this drug is negative. I feel the suffering and death that this drug

has caused outweighs any potential positives it has had on this world. I do not consider it as bad

as meth but it is pretty close.

Professor: Ibarra
Steven Davis
October 26, 2017
LSD and Other Hallucinogens

Classic hallucinogens are thought to produce their perception-altering effects by acting

on neural circuits in the brain that use the neurotransmitter serotonin. Specifically, some of

their most prominent effects occur in the prefrontal cortex.

Short Term effects- Starts to effect in the first 20-90 minutes you will see, hear, or feel

things that feel real but are not there, this can last up to 12 hours. You will be experiencing a

trip and it can be a good trip or a bad trip, a bad trip can be terrible like a nightmare, its like

going thru insanity. Other effects include increase in energy and increase in heart rate and

sometimes Nausea.

Some of the acute effects include dilated pupils, increased body temp, increased heart

rate, sweating, loss of appetite, and tremors. Long term effects include flashbacks, cause

dramatic mood swings, and persistent psychosis. Flashbacks can happen even if you have not

taken the drug in some numbers of years. It can happen at any time and may cause the person

experiencing them to become impaired for a short period of time. Mood swings can happen

when the person has abused the drug and it has caused damage to the brain and permanently

effected the persons brain. Also it can cause persistent psychosis in some users. This causes

them to have delusions or false beliefs and loss of reality.

The LSD or acid culture really started in the sixties with the young adults. Now the

culture is linked to the rave scene. The people who attend these type of parties will take

ecstasy, acid or both at the same time.

I feel that LSD and other hallucinogens should only be used is specific occasions and in

safe environments. I am not ready for this drug to be legal but would feel that it could be

regulated in some short of way.

Professor: Ibarra
Steven Davis
November 14, 2017

Alcohol Journal

Understanding how Alcohol affects brain is important. The brains chemistry is changed

by altering levels of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that

transmit the signals throughout the body that control thought processes, behavior and

emotion. Neurotransmitters are either excitatory, meaning that they stimulate brain electrical

activity, or inhibitory, meaning that they decrease brain electrical activity. Alcohol increases the

effects of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the brain.

Five of the acute affects from alcohol include the following. Blurred vision, Vomiting,

impaired judgment, impair motor skills, and sedation. Some of the chronic effects are addiction,

liver disease, and cancer. Addiction will lead to the other effects. It is something that is hard to

overcome if you have become an alcoholic. It can also be life threatening if you consume lots of

alcohol over many years. This can lead to liver disease. Liver disease is where the liver has

processes so much alcohol that it stops working and becomes more rubber like. This will lead to

liver failure. Also, alcohol can cause cancer in the larynx, oral cavity, and esophagus.

The culture of alcohol is very diverse. It effects everyone from the rich and powerful to

the very poor. It is tied into sports and that can range from football to sailing. I do not feel that

it has a culture because it is so vast.

My feelings on alcohol is very mostly negative. I feel that it causes many problems and

changes people. I use to drink regularly and now I hardly touch it. I feel better than ever and

have no plans on taking it back up.

Professor: Ibarra
Steven Davis
November 16, 2017
Anabolic Steroids Journal

In sports and weight training anabolic steroids are popular. It can help increase

performance and improve your strength. It has many negative side effects and can cause many

problems for those who choose to take them. It effects the brain by your bodys testosterone

that is produced and controlled by a group of nerve cells at the base of the brain, called the

hypothalamus. The hypothalamus also does a lot of other things. It helps control appetite,

blood pressure, moods, and reproductive ability.

Anabolic steroids can change the messages the hypothalamus sends to the body. This can

disrupt normal hormone function of the brain.

There are many ways that is can effect people and some of the acute effects are acne,

mood swings, impotence, trouble sleeping, and decreases appetite. Some of the longer effects

can be dependence, roid rage, and kidney failure. You can become dependent on steroids and

your body will not be able to function normally without the drug. Roid rage is also a long term

effect from steroids. The user can become easily angered and can lose control of your

emotions. If the user keeps taking steroids over a long time period, it can cause kidney failure.

The kidneys can no longer filter. It can cause the person to dependent on dialysis.

The culture of anabolic steroids is very competitive and sport related. It is popular in pro

sports and is not excepted by other players. The problem with steroids is that as long as there

are millions of dollars involved in sports, players will take the risk to get that big contract.
My feelings on steroids are not very negative and I do not have any feelings

either way. I feel that it is always going to be used in sports and there are always going to be

advancements in performance enhancers and sports will have to always have to try and keep

up with science.

Professor: Ibarra
Steven Davis
November 16, 2017

Tobacco Journal

Tobacco is probably the most used drug in the world and is socially excepted by many

cultures and countries. It has caused many deaths and will continue to case many more.

Understanding how it effects the body and the brain can lead to a better understanding of this

drug and how to prevent it from killing many more people.

Tobacco affects the brain by the epinephrine stimulates the central nervous system and

increases blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate. As with drugs such as cocaine and heroin,

nicotine increases levels of the chemical messenger dopamine, which affects parts of the brain

that control reward and pleasure.

It has many different side effects such as, increases blood pressure, decreases blood

flow to fingers and toes, bad breath, headache, and nausea. It also has some more serious and

long term side effects. Some of those include cancer, yellow teeth/tooth decay, and loss of

smell and taste. Everyone know that smoking causes cancer but, it is the leading cause of death

for cigarette smokers. Also, people who smoke regularly have yellow teeth and tooth decay

from smoking. Chewing tobacco can cause this as well. The smoke will stain the teeth causing

them to become weak and that can lead to tooth decay. Tobacco can also cause the users to

lose their sense of smell and taste. It is so strong and it soaks into the skin in your mouth and

nose and causes permanent damage to them.

The culture of this drug is so vast that it can not even be categorized. It has been used

for over thousands of years and it was a social norm back in the fifties to always smoke
cigarettes. I feel that our society is starting to see the negative effects and have made it harder

or more inconvenient for people to use tobacco in public places.

I dont really like tobacco and try and talk people out of using it whenever possible.

Every time I see someone I know smoking I remind then that they will probably get caner from

it and die. I do not think that they like this and tend to not smoke as much.

Professor: Ibarra
Steven Davis
November 16, 2017

Prescription Drugs Journal

Prescription drugs in America are common and I feel are over prescribed. Most of these

drugs have not even been tested over long periods of time so we have little to no

understanding of the long term affects. This can become very scary when trying to treat a

symptom or a disease that you are suffering from. Many for these drugs can have negative

effects on the brain. One of the prescription drugs I am going to look at is Oxycodone and what

it does to the body and mind.

Oxycodone is an opioid and is in the same class as heron. It is prescribed for pain and is

extremely addictive. Here in Utah we have an opioid epidemic and it stems from prescribed

pain pills. Once the prescription is no longer available they are forced to seek out illegal ways to

get the drug. This is where heron comes in, it is the same thing but stronger and cheaper.

Oxycodone affects the brain and nervous system by acting in the same way as other

opioids. It binds to mu, kappa and delta receptors in the central nervous system, inhibits

adenylyl-cyclase and hyperpolarisation of neurons, and decreases excitability.

Some of the side effects include, mild itching, constipation, dizziness, vomiting, and dry

mouth. Some of the more serious side effects include, dependence, restlessness, and flu-like

symptoms. This type of prescription can cause the user to become dependent mentally and

physical. If the user has been taking high doses over a long period, they can experience flu-like

symptoms. This is the user going through withdraws. This can cause the user to become restless

and unable to sleep because of the symptoms.

The culture of this drug is the is negative and leads to use of stronger drugs that are

illegal. It can also effect the people who live next door to you. Prescription pain pills have a cult

like flowing where people will shop doctors just to get high.

I feel that this drug is very useful for those that need it but like I said earlier, it is over

prescribed and can have some very detrimental effects to those who have potential to become