Alcohol and Drug Abuse - Measures for Prevention and Control


Drugs are any substances that interact with the macromolecules present inside the body and create a physiological and psychological response. It can be administered through various routes such as ingestion, inhalation, intravenous, and smoldering. The prolonged regular use of alcohol and drugs leads to drug addiction and subsequently drug dependency, which causes several issues for both the individual and society. It affects the central nervous system of the human body and it can cause risk to the entire body because drug components transmit improper signals to various body segments. As a result, drug use should be restricted, and medications should only be taken when considered required for therapeutic purposes.

What are drugs?

Drugs are made up of synthetic chemicals or from natural sources, that are used to diagnose, treat and prevent the disease or symptoms, which are called medicines. The harmful drugs may also be used to cause alteration in the mental state of a person that induces pleasure, emotions, and weakness of the body. Therefore, the long-term overdose of drugs causes physiological changes and then finally leads to death.

What is Drug Abuse?

Drug abuse is defined as the unwanted use of drugs because they are not taken for therapeutic purposes. It unnecessarily affects the mind of a person and leads to several problems including behavioural changes, criminal activities, and a lack of effectiveness in society. Some of the abused drugs are nicotine, alcohol, heroin, club drugs, marijuana, etc.

Images Coming soon

Sources of Drugs

Drugs are derived from natural sources like plants in the earlier periods. Nowadays, drugs are synthetically manufactured synthetically in laboratories. The drugs that are directly used from natural sources after collection are called crude drugs and it includes plants, minerals, and animal sources of drugs. The major sources of drugs are as follows:

Plant sources

Plants are used as drugs or drug sources for many years because a large number of plants have medicinal properties. Therefore, plant sources are used for the extraction of drugs in modern technologies.

Parts of plant




Atropa belladonna


Digitalis purpurea

Digitoxin and digoxin

Nicotiana tabacum


Eucalyptus globulus



Vinca rosea

Vinblastine and vincristine

Papaver somniferum



Physostigma venenosum


Senna alexandrina



Nux vomica


Physostigma venenosum



Rauwolfia serpentina


Cephaelis ipecacuanha



Atropa belladonna


Cinchona pubescens


Hyoscyamus niger



Chondrodendron tomentosum


Microbial sources

The microbial sources of drugs have versatile properties, therefore, the various drugs are prepared from microbes. Some of the drugs are as follows:



Streptomyces griseus


Xanthomonas campestris


Penicillium chrysogenum


Leuconostoc mesenteroids


Streptomyces venezuelae


Streptomyces fradiae


Streptococcus mutans


Bacillus subtilis


Animal sources

The medicinal substance is obtained from secretions and fluids of the internal organs and glands of the animals.

Animal sources


Sheep thyroid


Liver of cod fish

Cod liver oil (vitamin A and vitamin C)

Pancreas of pig


Stomach of cow


Urine of pregnant women

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)

Mineral sources

Metallic and non-metallic drugs have been used from the ancient period. The mineral-based drugs are essential for patients that have inadequate levels of minerals because the mineral elements maintain the homeostasis of a body.



Mineral deposits






Feldspar deposits


Synthetic and semi-synthetic sources

The original properties of drugs from natural sources and their chemical structures are altered by rearranging the chemical derivatives and are called synthetic drugs.

Examples: Acetylsalicylic acid, chloroquine, paracetamol, antihistamines, phenytoin etc.

The semi-synthetic drugs are hybrids that have only chemical modifications without changing their natural properties to improve the efficacy of natural sources.

Examples: Homatropine (from atropine), heroin (from morphine), ampicillin (from penicillin), etc.

Marine sources

The marine species are sources of potent chemicals that have essential pharmaceutical properties.



Discodermia dissoluta


Lyngbya majuscula


Micromonospora marina


Biosynthetic sources

The living organisms are used to develop drugs by recombinant DNA technology, genetic engineering, immunology, biopharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and molecular biology.

Example: recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine

Alcohol and Drug Abuse: Prevention and Control

Young and adolescent minds change depending on their social exposure. This can result in the inculcation of the habit of smoking, alcohol consumption, and taking drugs. Therefore, the parents and teachers are responsible to guide them on the right path.

Alcohol and drug abuse can be prevented and controlled by taking the following measures:

  • Children generally follow the habits of their close ones, neighbours, and their admirable person.

  • Therefore, the attitude of parents and closed ones toward the use of alcohol, drugs, and smoking may affect the mind of children.

  • Parents should connect with the child at all possible times to keep tracking the attitude and behaviour.

  • The children need counselling when they are dealing with pressures, stress, disappointments, and failures.

  • If it is found that the children have fallen into alcohol and drug abuse, their close ones must bring notice to their parents, and remedial measures must be taken.


Drugs are medicines used for the diagnosis or treatment of diseases. It is composed of chemicals or other substances obtained from natural sources. There are various sources of drugs including natural sources such as plant, animal, and mineral sources. The refined or synthetic drugs are manufactured in the laboratories by rearranging the chemical structures of substances and the biosynthetic drugs are obtained from the living organisms and are modified by using recombinant DNA technology, gene splicing, etc. The frequent and long-term use of unnecessary drugs is known as drug abuse. Therefore, the person cannot control the use of drugs, which is called drug addiction. It leads to drug dependency and causes health problems for that individual. Some preventive measures need to be taken to control and prevent drug abuse among the youngsters.


1. What is the difference between drug dependence and drug addiction?

Drug dependence

Drug addiction

A person is adapted to the use of drugs, their functions are active only when taking the drugs. The severe drug addiction resulted in drug dependence.

The repeated use of drugs and not having control of taking drugs is known as drug addiction.

2. What are the causes of drug abuse?

  • Disappointments

  • Depression

  • Failures

  • Exposure from parents or close ones who are using drugs

  • Curiosity

3. How does drug abuse affect a person’s life?

  • The use of drugs leads to slow breathing and drowsiness.

  • It increases brain damage and mental health issues.

  • It may result in hallucinations.

4. What is the difference between medicine and drugs?



Any substance that causes mental or physical changes with or without medicinal use are drugs.

Any substance that is taken for only therapeutic use under the prescription are medicines.

It has significant side effects.

It has insignificant side effects.

May be harmful to humans.

Safe for humans.

All drugs are not medicines.

All medicines are drugs.

5. What are crude drugs?

The drugs are obtained from natural sources without any modification or processing, and it undergoes only collection and drying are called crude drugs.


Kinghorn, A., & Seo, E. (1996). Plants as Sources of Drugs. ACS Symposium Series, 179-193.

Preventing Drug Abuse. (1993).

Sources of Drugs - (2022). Retrieved 3 June 2022, from

Images Coming soon


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started