A drug is any substance, solid, liquid or gas, that brings about physical and/or psychological changes in a person’s body.
The drugs that are most worrying, to parents in particular and to the wider community generally, are those that affect the central nervous system.They can change the way a person thinks, feels or behaves. These are the psychoactive drugs.
Drugs come from a range of sources. Many are found in plants, for example, nicotine in tobacco; caffeine in coffee; and cocaine from the cocoa plant. Morphine and codeine are derived from the opium poppy, while heroin is chemically manufactured from morphine. Marijuana is the leaf, buds and seed heads of the cannabis plant, and hashish and hash oil are the plant’s resin.
Alcohol is a product of the natural process of fermentation, which happens when fruit, grain or vegetables decompose. Fungi, such as magic mushrooms, and some types of cactus plants are considered drugs because of their hallucinogenic properties. Medicines are manufactured from both natural and artificial chemicals.