Test yourself: Use and Abuse of Drugs

Test yourself: Use and Abuse of Drugs

The use and abuse of drugs – Remember it!

* Medical drugs need to be thoroughly trailed and tested before being used by the public.

* Double blind trials use a placebo.

* Statins are prescribed for cardiovascular diseases.

* Thalidomide was used by pregnant women before being tested in this way and this led to deformities in children.

* Ethanol, the alcohol found in wine and beer, is a depressant.

* Nicotine, found in cigarettes, is highly addictive.

* Illegal drugs, like cocaine and heroin, are very addictive and usually cause withdrawal effects when someone wants to stop taking them.

* Cannabis has shown to have adverse effects of a user’s mental health.

* Performance-related drugs, including stimulants and anabolic steroids, are used by athletes to make their sporting performance better. However, their use is illegal in sporting events.


Test it!

1. Give two reasons why smoking is bad for your health.

i. ____________________________________

ii. ____________________________________

2. Scientists have been working on a drug which slows down the onset of Parkinson’s disease. What are the three stages they must go through before it can be given to the public?

i. _____________________________________

ii. _____________________________________

iii. _____________________________________

3. Medicinal drugs help people to recover from certain illnesses. On what ways do the following drugs help?

a) painkillers

b) statin

c) antibiotics

4. Before a race athletes were tested for drugs in their blood stream.

a) Why is drug use banned in sporting events?

b) Name one popular drug used for improving performance.


1. Smoking can cause cancer, heart disease, stroke and lung disorders.

2. The drug is first tested on human cells which have been grown specifically in the laboratory. If it doesn’t damage the cell in anyway then the drug is used on live animals to get a better idea of how it will affect humans. Usually, a specific amount is given to an animal and then any affects are recorded. The final stage involves clinical trials on healthy volunteers and patients. To begin with, only a small amount is used. If there are no negative side effects then the drug is given in higher doses until the best, or optimum, amount is found.


a) Painkillers eliminate or reduces the sensation of pain.

b) Statins are for people who are at risk of heart or circulatory diseases. They decrease the amount of cholesterol being produced by the liver.

c) Antibiotics destroy bacterial diseases.


a) Because they give athletes who take them an advantage over the other contenders.

b) Possible answers:

  • anabolic steroids
  • stimulants