Psychoactive Drugs and Their Effects on the Brain

Mini Cases in Psychoactive Drugs and Their Effects on the Brain by Darlene Mitrano. Case copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Originally published September 2, 2011.
Study 2: Jill (Let the smoke clear…)
It has been a long day and you are glad it is Friday. Earlier you called and made plans with your friend, Jill, to order delivery from your favorite sandwich shop and to start a movie marathon around 6PM. When you arrive at Jill’s condo you smell a distinctive odor in the hall. You knock and she opens the door. A smoky cloud lingers in the kitchen. Jill has invited her cousin Shelly over and they seem to have been smoking something. Their eyes are red, they seem extremely relaxed, and there are food and candy wrappers all over the place. Jill says that she totally forgot you were coming over, but you should stay and hang out anyway. What have Jill and Shelly been smoking?

Questions: Answer question 6. Choose at least 3 additional questions to discuss.

  1. What drug has the individual in this case been using? What led you to believe this?
  2. What are the subjective effects of the drug (i.e., what would a person taking this drug report feeling after using the drug)?
  3. What receptors, transporters, or neurotransmitters could be involved? How does the drug affect these receptors, transporters, or neurotransmitters?
  4. Provide at least one relevant website concerning the drug in question.
  5. Is this drug addictive? What are the consequences of continued use of this drug?

Sample Solution