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Drugs and Drug Trials

In this worksheet, students study different types of drugs and the process followed before medicinal drugs are allowed to be used by humans.

'Drugs and Drug Trials' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  Biology: Health, Disease and Medicines

Curriculum subtopic:  Discovering and Developing Medicines

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Drugs can be harmful, but also beneficial when they are medicinal and prescribed by a doctor. There are five types of drugs:

  • depressants, which slow down the brain
  • hallucinogens, which change perception of sight and hearing
  • painkillers, which stop nerve impulses so pain is reduced or not felt at all
  • performance enhancers, which develop muscles
  • stimulants, which speed up the brain

 

Some drugs can be addictive; for example, nicotine in tobacco. Becoming addicted to a drug means it is really hard to give it up, so it is better not to start using it! Withdrawal symptoms (such as shaking or bad temper) may be observed. In the case of illegal (not medicinal) drugs, rehabilitation is often needed to give them up. This means addicts need to stay in special institutions to prevent access to a drug and they are under medical care. Tolerance is built up when a drug has been taken for a long time and bigger doses are needed to feel its effects.

 

Classification of drugs

There are three classes of drugs, depending on how dangerous they are:

  • Class A: Seven years in prison and a fine for possession, life sentence for supplying. Examples include heroin, methadone, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy
  • Class B: Five years in prison and a fine for possession, 14 years in prison for supplying. Examples include amphetamines and barbiturates
  • Class C: Two years in prison and a fine for possession, 5 years in prison for supplying. Examples include anabolic steroids, Valium and cannabis

 

Cannabis specifically had been reclassified before to Class B, because there are very dangerous types of cannabis that can cause mental illness.

 

Even legal drugs, like nicotine and alcohol, can have severe effects. Medicinal drugs are sometimes misused and that can lead to extreme consequences. Medicinal drugs need to udergo several trials in order to be considered safe for humans.

We will see more about drug effects and trials in the questions.

Tick the correct answer to complete the sentence.

 

Tolerance means .................................

a person can consume more of the drug without being harmed by it.

a person will not go to prison if supplying the drug because it is not harmful.

a person needs more of the drug to feel its effects.

Tick two of the drugs that are stimulants.

alcohol

caffeine

nicotine

cannabis

What type of drug is aspirin?

stimulant

painkiller

hallucinogen

depressant

What happens if you are caught supplying a Class B drug?

five years in prison and a fine

14 years in prison

life in prison

The main chemicals in tobacco smoke are carbon monoxide, nicotine, tar and particulates. When smoke enters the lungs there is no way out. It damages epithelial cells that line the trachea and bronchioles in the lungs. Some epithelial cells have tiny hair on their surface called cilia. See if you can spot the epithelial cells in the diagram below:

 

 

Cilia move and clear the lungs from dust and produce mucus. Mucus is the sticky substance that we cough out when we have a cold and our body produces so that bacteria stick to it and come out as we cough. Using this information and also your wider knowledge tick three diseases or conditions that can be caused by smoking tobacco.

lung cancer

depression

migraine

heart disease

smoker's cough

In your exams you may be asked to analyse a graph about drug consumption. Let's have a look at this graph about smoking:

 

 

Using information from the graph calculate the percentage of smokers that are under 16. 

16%

17%

23%

Excess alcohol consumption destroys liver cells, because they have to overwork in order to break alcohol down. Eventually, this can cause liver cirrhosis, which basically means that the liver is completely destroyed. Look at this graph illustrating worldwide consumption of different types of alcoholic drinks over the years. The graph shows information about 2014 to 2016, but this is just a prediciton:

 

 

How has the consumption of beer changed since 1997? Tick the correct answer.

 

In your exam you may be asked to describe the changes rather choose one of many answers. Do not despair! Just study the graph carefully and follow the graph from the first year (1997 in this case) to the last year shown and describe what happens to the line (or the bars if it is a bar graph). Include numbers in your answer for maximum marks.

The consumption of beer worldwide has increased from 13 litres per person in 1997 to 18 litres estimated in 2015.

The consumption of beer has decreased from 13 litres per person in 1997 to 18 litres estimated in 2015.

The consumption of beer has increased from 10 litres in 1997 to 19 litres estimated in 2016.

Thalidomide was one such drug that was given to pregnant women to ease morning sickness in the 1960s, but led to birth defects, such as babies born with underdeveloped or deformed arms and legs. Eventually, it was banned.

 

Therefore, it is very important that drugs are tested thoroughly before being allowed for human consumption. First, the drugs are tested using computer models and human cells. If they pass this stage, they are then tested on animals and if successful, are given to humans during clinical trials in small doses to start with. If there are no side effects, the optimum dose is determined during further trials. Bearing all this information in mind, tick two statements that are true about drug development and trials.

Drug trials are expensive and time consuming.

After drug trials, drugs are always safe.

Even after clinical trials, drugs can have severe side effects.

Drug trials take place very quickly.

It is really important that a drug has real positive effects before judged appropriate to cure illness and disease. Therefore, double blind trials are designed to research the placebo effect.

 

A placebo drug (a drug that looks like the real drug but does not contain any of it) is given to usually half of the patients. Patients and doctors do not actually know who takes the real and who the placebo drug. Suggest the most important reason why this happens. 

placebo drugs sometimes work

due to psychological reasons it is possible that patients feel better because they think they are receiving medication, even if it is a placebo

real drugs may be defective

What is the addictive substance in tobacco smoke?

ethanol

nicotine

cocaine

  • Question 1

Tick the correct answer to complete the sentence.

 

Tolerance means .................................

CORRECT ANSWER
a person needs more of the drug to feel its effects.
EDDIE SAYS
Tolerance is developed when a drug has been used for a long time and more of it is needed to feel its effects.
  • Question 2

Tick two of the drugs that are stimulants.

CORRECT ANSWER
caffeine
nicotine
EDDIE SAYS
Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants.
  • Question 3

What type of drug is aspirin?

CORRECT ANSWER
painkiller
EDDIE SAYS
Aspirin is used when we are in pain, so it is a painkiller.
  • Question 4

What happens if you are caught supplying a Class B drug?

CORRECT ANSWER
14 years in prison
EDDIE SAYS
If someone is caught supplying a Class B drug they can get up to 14 years in prison, whereas for possession the sentence is up to 7 years in prison and a fine.
  • Question 5

The main chemicals in tobacco smoke are carbon monoxide, nicotine, tar and particulates. When smoke enters the lungs there is no way out. It damages epithelial cells that line the trachea and bronchioles in the lungs. Some epithelial cells have tiny hair on their surface called cilia. See if you can spot the epithelial cells in the diagram below:

 

 

Cilia move and clear the lungs from dust and produce mucus. Mucus is the sticky substance that we cough out when we have a cold and our body produces so that bacteria stick to it and come out as we cough. Using this information and also your wider knowledge tick three diseases or conditions that can be caused by smoking tobacco.

CORRECT ANSWER
lung cancer
heart disease
smoker's cough
EDDIE SAYS
Smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease. Heavy smokers may also develop smoker's cough as the lungs try constantly to remove particulates from smoke that gather in the lungs.
  • Question 6

In your exams you may be asked to analyse a graph about drug consumption. Let's have a look at this graph about smoking:

 

 

Using information from the graph calculate the percentage of smokers that are under 16. 

CORRECT ANSWER
17%
EDDIE SAYS
The graph shows smokers in numbers out of 100, so you don't need to calculate anything in this question. The answer is 17.
  • Question 7

Excess alcohol consumption destroys liver cells, because they have to overwork in order to break alcohol down. Eventually, this can cause liver cirrhosis, which basically means that the liver is completely destroyed. Look at this graph illustrating worldwide consumption of different types of alcoholic drinks over the years. The graph shows information about 2014 to 2016, but this is just a prediciton:

 

 

How has the consumption of beer changed since 1997? Tick the correct answer.

 

In your exam you may be asked to describe the changes rather choose one of many answers. Do not despair! Just study the graph carefully and follow the graph from the first year (1997 in this case) to the last year shown and describe what happens to the line (or the bars if it is a bar graph). Include numbers in your answer for maximum marks.

CORRECT ANSWER
The consumption of beer worldwide has increased from 13 litres per person in 1997 to 18 litres estimated in 2015.
EDDIE SAYS
The first answer is correct, because it mentions an increase and it also gives the correct numerical data taken from the graph.
  • Question 8

Thalidomide was one such drug that was given to pregnant women to ease morning sickness in the 1960s, but led to birth defects, such as babies born with underdeveloped or deformed arms and legs. Eventually, it was banned.

 

Therefore, it is very important that drugs are tested thoroughly before being allowed for human consumption. First, the drugs are tested using computer models and human cells. If they pass this stage, they are then tested on animals and if successful, are given to humans during clinical trials in small doses to start with. If there are no side effects, the optimum dose is determined during further trials. Bearing all this information in mind, tick two statements that are true about drug development and trials.

CORRECT ANSWER
Drug trials are expensive and time consuming.
Even after clinical trials, drugs can have severe side effects.
EDDIE SAYS
There is always the danger of side effects even after drug trials and the development of drugs takes a lot of time and money. Option 1 and 3 are correct.
  • Question 9

It is really important that a drug has real positive effects before judged appropriate to cure illness and disease. Therefore, double blind trials are designed to research the placebo effect.

 

A placebo drug (a drug that looks like the real drug but does not contain any of it) is given to usually half of the patients. Patients and doctors do not actually know who takes the real and who the placebo drug. Suggest the most important reason why this happens. 

CORRECT ANSWER
due to psychological reasons it is possible that patients feel better because they think they are receiving medication, even if it is a placebo
EDDIE SAYS
Sometimes patients may feel better just because they are receiving medication due to psychological reasons and not because the drug is effective.
  • Question 10

What is the addictive substance in tobacco smoke?

CORRECT ANSWER
nicotine
EDDIE SAYS
Cigarettes and tobacco in general contain nicotine which is addictive.
---- OR ----

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