Provide evidence of what is understood of the significance of
nonspecific effects, dose-response relationships, and time-dependent
factors in drug actions. In other words, tell why it is important for
individuals to understand these concepts in using drugs for therapeutic,
medicinal, or “recreational” purposes.
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Time dependent factors are of course vital to recognise. How long will the impact of drugs last for? Is there a delay after taking the drug before the effects begin? Are there any long term reactions that people need to know about? One famous example is of course the hallucinations and flashbacks experienced by people who take LSD that go on for years, long after the actual effects of the drug have finished.
Knowing everything about a drug one is taking is very important. Adhering to the label's instructions so as not to overdose or under-dose is important. If one is not having the results expected, they must contact a doctor. Too many times people adjust their own medications and the outcome is horrible.
Another factor to consider in "dose-response relationships" is how individuals may or may not respond to doses of drugs, whether for medicinal, therapeutic or recreational purposes. Specifically, some individuals are hyper-sensitive to the effects of a drug (I don't mean to the drug itself as in allergic etc) and require lower doses perhaps due to body weight, perhaps due to idiosyncratic sensitivity.
Like the others, I concur that it is important to know all the possible side-effects. All people have complex times and are in complex situation. Therefore, people need to be informed about any and all possible side effect. What if a drug causes vision impairment or drowsiness and the person is a surgeon or an airline pilot? This can be disastrous.
Going into detail on "non-specific effects," many people have different reactions to drugs; in other words, you cannot reliably predict a side effect for 100% of users. My experience with a given drug may lead to side effects not seen in other users; this is one reason for double-blinded, controlled studies.
Some drugs can be skin-tested; a small amount of the drug is applied to the skin and watched for reaction. If the skin reddens, hurts, or has any visible reaction, chances are good that it will cause a reaction when taken.
It's important for people to understand these sorts of things because it can have a major impact on the sorts of effects the drugs can have. They can, for example, have side effects or interaction effects with other drugs. If you don't understand how long the drug will be in effect, or how it might interact with other drugs, you can be seriously harmed.
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