Mind Trending
How drugs can help medically

Dr C Rajesh Reddy

MBBS, MD, DM (Neurology)

4 min read

Extensive studies are conducted on the potential curative benefits illegal drugs are capable of offering. Yet, the use of illegal drugs for medical purposes is quite a controversial topic. These substances are made illegal to prevent drug abuse and any kind of self-harm to those people who are susceptible. The transition from the use of substances to addiction is largely determined by both genes and social factors. Studies have revealed that in early teenage years, the introduction and use of drugs is determined strongly by genetic and environmental factors.

There are some health benefits of the drugs that are used for recreational purposes. Though it’s essential to know that self-medicating and using drugs without the supervision of a doctor can be very dangerous! Unregulated use of illegal drugs can cause more harm than good. Some of the potential risks include delayed medical advice, wrong self-diagnosis and covering up of a severe disease. All of this leads to the risk of abuse and dependence on substances

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The line between recreational drugs and prescribed drugs has never been clear-cut. There’s much dis-cussion regarding the frequent use of recreational drugs in the West. Call it a drug-inspired fashion or endless addiction, the dark side of psychoactive drugs and abuse has been spoken about. But at the same time, the medical benefits of drugs fall under the discovery phase.

A systematic use of drugs under the guidance of a doctor can help a person feel calm and better – both in terms of physical and mental health. Drugs, when used under medical advice and supervision can certainly prove to be helpful to treat a range of human ailments.

While the problem of ‘non-medical’ use of drugs is an area of concern, the knowledge and the benefit of synthetic drugs, derived from new psychoactive substances, is yet to be established. The lines get murkier when it comes to India. There is a lot of concern regarding the safety, need and essence of these drugs. While the government doesn’t take a particular side, having better awareness and education around these raises the bar higher. A middle path for the use of drugs seems to make more sense today.

There is a certain section of people, who genetically need drugs for proper treatment of medical problems. Yes, studies say that there are benefits associated with psychoactive drugs. For a vast section of people, these drugs enable attaining more enjoyment and relaxation. It even helps with other issues like anxiety, physical pain relief and energy loss.

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There are some prescription-based recreational drugs which can be produced synthetically. A systematic use of these drugs under the guidance of a doctor can help a person feel calm and better —both in terms of physical and mental health. These are effective for pain management, sleep issues, and mindfulness.

Drugs, when used under medical advice and supervision can certainly prove to be helpful to treat a range of human ailments.

  1. Pain management: Analgesic and phychoactive drugs have a significant contribution in reducing pain in severely affected areas. Opioid is one of the most discussed pain relieving drug. As per medical science, a class of TCA (tricyclic antidepressants) have efficacy to treat patients suffering from chronic pain, itching, mental disorders and depression.
  2. Cancer: Psychotropic medications in patients with cancer are reviewed as another noteworthy use. The specific psychotropic agents in appropriate dosage and administration, helps manage cancer.
  3. Sleep disorders: Statistics state that as much as one third of adult population suffers from sleep related issues. The constructive effects of psychotropic drugs have been found to help treat brain neurotransmitter dysfunctions. The polysomnographic recordings, which show the sleep-wake cycle, can be better understood through the use of drugs. Adequate therapies with proper psychotropic drugs, under guidance and moderation have fair chances of positive results.
  4. Attention improvement: Human consciousness and attention is influenced by how neurotransmitters operate in the central nervous system. It has been found that the psychoactive drugs have influence on maintaining a good attention span. A range of drugs including caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamines can mimic the other natural state of consciousness.
  5. Calming effects with slowed heart rate and respiration: In a few medical cases, there are emergencies to produce a calmer state of mind and body. The use of certain depressants decreases the production of neurotransmitter acetylcholine to create relaxation.

Besides using drugs for medical treatments, a quite high percentage of participants report the feeling of empathy, social contentedness and ease with the use of drugs. In conclusion, the key to using these drugs lies in the hands of individuals. They need to know when to stop in order to gain a healthy, meaningful life. Medical science prospers with right things in the right place. A controlled, restricted environment with due norms in place with regard to psychoactive drugs may definitely prove useful for the well-being and wellness of society.