Module 6: how drugs work: facilitator's guide

8.1 Intoxication

Page last updated: 2004

A number of key terms are used in pharmacology to describe and explain the range of effects that drugs can have on the body. Intoxication is the first of those terms.

Question - How would you define the term 'intoxication'?

Answer - Intoxication is the term used to describe any change in perception, mood, thinking processes and motor skills that results from the effect of a drug(s) on our central nervous system

Workers are in a better position to assess the impact of drug use for the individual if they understand these processes.

Often intoxication is thought of in extreme terms, when someone is 'drunk' or 'off their head' with drugs. In fact, some degree of intoxication occurs with any single dose of alcohol or other drugs. Risky activities of all sorts increase, even with low levels of intoxication.

Whatever problems and risks are associated with being intoxicated, there is also much pleasure to be gained. This is an important principle to remember in our work with young people, as it will help us to understand their motivation for drug use and intoxication.

Question - What are some of the changes in behaviour you might notice in a young person who is intoxicated with cannabis?

Answer

  • Placid
  • Talkative
  • Hungry
Question - What are some of the changes in behaviour you might notice in a young person who is intoxicated with alcohol?

Answer
  • Loud
  • Boisterous
  • Sleepy
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