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Gulvir Sharma 9411666865


Chapter 8 Human Health and Disease

Improper functioning of one or more organs or systems of the body is adversely affected, gives rise to various
signs and symptoms i.e we have disease.
Diseases which can easily transmit from one person to other by any means are called infectious or
communicable diseases.
Diseases which cannot be transmitted from one person to another are called non-infectious or non-
communicable diseases.
Disease causing organisms are said to be pathogen.
Pathogen: Salmonella typhi (bacterium)
Organs affected: small intestine, migrate to other organs through blood.
Method of transmission: contamination of food and water.
Sustained high fever (39o to 40o C)
Weakness, stomach pain, constipation, headache and loss of appetite.
Intestinal perforation and death may occur.
Test: Typhoid fever could be confirmed by Widal test.
Pathogen: Streptococcus pneumoniaeand Haemophilusinfluenzae.
Organs affected: Alveoli of lungs, alveoli get filled with fluid.
Method of transmission: inhaling the droplets/aerosols released by infected person. Sharing glasses and other
Fever, chills, cough and headache.
In severe cases the lips and finger nails turn gray to bluish colour.
Pathogen: Rhino viruses.
Organs affected: nose and respiratory passage
Method of transmission:
Direct inhalation of droplets from infected person.
Through contaminated objects like pen, books, cups, computer key board.
Symptoms: Nasal congestion and discharge, sore throat, hoarseness, cough.
Pathogen:Plasmodium. (P. vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, P. falciparum)
Malignant malaria caused by P. falciparum is fatal.
Organs affected: liver, RBC.
Method of transmission: by biting of female anopheles mosquito (vector)
Symptoms: high fever and chill, fever occurs on every alternate day, vomiting.
life cycle of malaria parasite:
Life cycle of plasmodium starts with inoculation of sporozoites(infective stage) through the bite of infected
female Anopheles mosquitoes.
The parasite initially multiplied within the liver cells and then attack the red blood cells (RBCs) resulting in their
There is release of a toxic substance called hemozoin from the ruptured RBCs which responsible for the chill
and high fever.
From the infected human the parasite enters into the body of Anopheles mosquito during biting and sucking
Further development takes place in the body of Anopheles mosquitoes.
The female mosquito takes up gametocytes with the blood meal.
Formation of gametes and fertilization takes place in the intestine of mosquito.
The zygote develops further and forms thousands of sporozoites which migrated into the salivary gland of
When the mosquito bite another human sporozoites are injected.
The malaria parasite requires two hosts human and Anopheles, to complete their life cycle.
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Pathogen:Entamoebahistolytica a protozoan parasite.
Organs affected: large intestine of man
Method of transmission:
House fly acts as mechanical carrier.
Contamination water and food with faecal matter.
Symptoms: Constipation, abdominal pain and cramps.
Stools with excess mucous and blood clots.
Pathogen:Ascarislumbricoids (nematode)
Organs affected: intestine of man
Method of transmission: Contaminated water, vegetables, fruits.
Symptoms: Internal bleeding, muscular pain, fever, anemia.
Blockage of the intestinal passage.
Pathogen: Wuchereria (W.bancrofti and W. Malayi) (nematode parasite)
Organs affected: lymphatic vessels of the lower limbs, genital organs.
Methods of transmission: biting of infected female culex mosquito.
Symptoms: Chronic inflammation of the organs where they live for many years.
Abnormal swelling of lower limb, scrotum, penis.
Hence the disease named as elephantiasis or Filariasis.
Pathogen: Microsporum, Trichophyton and Epidermophyton (fungi)
Organs affected: Skin, nails, folds of skin, groin.
Method of transmission: Acquired from the soil.
Using towel, clothes or even comb of infected individuals.
Symptoms: Appearance of dry, scaly lesions in skin nails and scalp.
Lesion accompanied with intense itching.
Heat and moisture help these fungi to grow.
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Maintenance of personal and public hygiene is very important for prevention and control of many infectious
Personal hygiene includes:
Consumption of clean drinking water, food vegetable fruits.
Keeping the body cleans.
Public hygiene includes:
Proper disposal of waste and excreta
Periodic cleaning and disinfection of water reservoirs, pools, cesspools.
Standard practices of hygiene in public catering.
In case of air-borne diseases, close contact with the infected persons or their belongings should be avoided.
For vector borne diseases--To control or eliminating the vectors and the breeding places.
Avoiding stagnation of water in and around residential areas.
Regular cleaning of household coolers.
Use of mosquito nets.
Introducing fishes like Gambusia in pond that feeds on mosquito larvae.
Spraying of insecticides in ditches, drainage area and swamps.
Window and doors must be fitted with wire mesh.
All these precautions are use full for vector borne disease like dengue and Chickungunya, malaria and filarial etc.
Immunization: By massive immunization there is complete eradication of disease like smallpox.
Diseases like polio, diphtheria, pneumonia, and tetanus have been controlled in large extent.
IMMUNITY: The overall ability of the host to fight the disease causing organism by immune system is called
There are two types of immunity:
Innate Immunity.
Acquired Immunity.
Innate (non-specific) immunity:
Called inborn immunity.
Always available to protect out body.
This is called the first line of defense.
Consists of various barriers that prevent entry of foreign agents into the body.
If enters they are quickly killed by some other components of this system.
Different types of barriers are as follows:
Physical barriers:--Skin is the main barrier which prevents entry of micro-organism.
Mucous coating of the epithelium lining of respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinogenital tracts helps in trapping
Physiological barriers:
Acidity of the stomach kills most ingested microbes.
Lysozyme in tears, saliva, and snot kills bacteria by digesting bacterial wall.
Pyrogen released by WBC raise body temperature to prevents growth of microbes in out body.
Interferon induces antiviral state in non-infected cells.
Phagocytic barrier: Polymorpho-nuclear leukocytes (PMNL-neutrophils), macrophages, and natural killer
cells in the blood and tissues kill pathogen by phagocytosis.
Inflammatory barrier: When there is injury to the tissue there is release of histamine and prostaglandins by the
mast cells.
Due to vasodilation there is leakage of vascular fluid containing serum proteins with antibacterial activity.
Further there is influx of Phagocytic cells into the affected area.
Acquired (specific) immunity:
It is also known as adaptive immunity.
This immunity developed after birth when encountered with pathogen.
It supplements the immunity provided by the innate immunity.
Acquired immunity has following unique features:
Specificity: distinguish specific foreign molecules.
Diversity: recognize vast variety of foreign molecules.
Discrimination between self and non-self: it is able to recognize and respond to molecules that are foreign or
non-self. It will not respond to our own cell or molecules.
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Memory: after responding to the foreign microbes and elimination, this immune system retains the memory of
that encounter (primary immuneresponse). The second encounter with the same microbe evokes a heightened
immune response. (Secondary immune response)
Acquired immunity is carried out by two special types of lymphocytes:
The B-lymphocytes produce a group of proteins in response to pathogen into the blood to fight with them called
T-lymphocytes do not produce antibody but help B-cells to produce them.
Structure of antibody:
Each antibody has four polypeptide chains.
Two small chains called light chains.
Two longer chains called heavy chains.
Antibody represented as H2L2.
Different classes of antibody produced in out body are IgA, IgM, IgD, IgE and IgG.
AMI vs. CMI:
Immune response by the B-cells by production of antibody is called Antibody mediated immune response or
humoral immune response.
Immune response by T-cells is by activation of cytotoxic killer cells which detects and destroys the foreign cells
and also cancerous cells called cell mediatedimmune response.
Rejection of organs transplants are due to T-lymphocytes.
Tissue matching, blood group matching are essential for organ transplantation.
Even after tissue typing immune-suppressants is required before and after transplantation.
Active immunity:
When the host is exposed to antigens, which may be in the form of living or dead microbes or other proteins,
antibodies are produced in the host body.
Active immunity is slow and takes time to give its full effective response.
Injecting microbes deliberately during immunization or infection of microbes naturally induce active immunity.
Passive immunity: Readymade antibodies are directly given to protect the body against foreign agents.
Colostrum of mother contain abundant antibody (IgA) to protect the child.
Foetus receives some antibody (IgG) from mother during pregnancy.
Vaccination and Immunization:
The principle of immunization or vaccination is based on the property of memory, of the immune system.
In vaccination, a preparation of antigenic protein of pathogen or inactivated/weakened pathogen (vaccine) is
introduced into the body.
The antibodies produced in the body against vaccine, (antigen) would neutralize the pathogenic agents during
actual infection.
The vaccines also generate memory B and T-cells that recognize the pathogen quickly on subsequent exposure.
Passive immunization: Preformed antibody or antitoxin injection for specific antigen.
Injection of antivenin for snake bite to counter the snake venom
Vaccine production: Recombinant DNA technology has allowed the production of antigenic polypeptide of
pathogen in bacteria and yeast.
Vaccine produced by this approach allows large scale production of antigen for immunization. E.g. hepatitis-B
produced from yeast.
Allergies: The exaggerated response of the immune system to certain antigens present in the environment is
called allergy.
The substance to which such immune response is produced is allergen.
IgE is produced during allergic reactions.
Common allergens are dust, pollen, animal dander etc.
Common symptoms are sneezing, watery eyes, running nose etc.
Allergy is due to release of histamine and serotonin from the mast cells.
Drugs like anti-histamine, adrenalin and steroid quickly reduce symptoms of allergy.
Auto immunity: Memory based acquired immunity able to distinguish foreign molecules or cells (pathogen) from
Sometimes due to genetic and other unknown reasons the body attacks self-cells. This results in damage to the
body cells and is called auto-immune disease. E.g. Rheumatoid arthritis, Multiple sclerosis.
Immune system in our body: The immune system consists of
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Lymphoid organs
Lymphoid tissues
T and B-cells.
Immune system recognizes the foreign antigens, responds to them and remembers them.
The immune system also plays important role in:
Allergic reaction
Auto immuno diseases and
Organ transplantation.
Primary lymphoid organs: bone marrow and thymus, production andmaturation of lymphocytes take place.
Secondary lymphoid organs: spleen, tonsil, lymph node, Payers patches of small intestine and appendix,
where proliferation and differentiation of lymphocyte take place.
Bone marrow is the main lymphoid organ where all blood cell including lymphocytes are produced.
Thymus is a bilobed organ located near the heart, beneath the breastbone.
B-lymphocytes are produced and matured in bone marrow.
T-lymphocytes are produced in bone marrow but matured in thymus.
The spleen
Large bean shaped organ mainly contain lymphocytes and phagocytes.
Acts as a filter of the blood by trapping blood-borne micro-organisms.
Spleen is also serves as the large reservoir of erythrocytes.
Lymph node:
Small solid structure located at different points along the lymphatic system.
Traps the micro-organisms or other foreign antigens.
Antigen trapped into the lymph node responsible for activation and differentiation of lymphocytes and cause
immune response.
Mucosal associated lymphoid tissues (MALT):
Located within the lining of major tract (respiratory, digestive and urinogenital tracts)
It constitutes 50% of lymphoid tissues.
AIDS: Stands for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome.
Deficiency of immune system that acquired during life time and not congenital disease.
Syndrome means a group of symptoms.
AIDS was first reported in 1981.
AIDS is caused by HIV (Human Immuno deficiency Virus)
HIV is retrovirus, having RNA as the genetic material.

Method of transmission:
Sexual contact with infected persons.
Transfusion of contaminated blood and blood products.
Sharing infected needles as intravenous drug user.
From infected mother to the foetus through placenta.
Life cycle of HIV:
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After getting into the body the HIV enters into macrophages or T-helper cells.
The viral RNA genome replicated to form viral DNA with the enzyme called reverse transcriptase.
The viral DNA gets incorporated into the host cells DNA by an enzyme called integrase, and directs the infected
cell s to produce virus particle.
The macrophage continues to produce virus and acts as HIV factory.
Virus released from macrophage attack T-helper cells.
There is progressive reduction in the number of T-helper cells.
Due to reduction of T-helper cells the person starts suffering from infections of other virus, fungi and even
parasites like Toxoplasma.
The patient becomes immuno deficient and more prone to other disease.
ELISA (enzyme linked Immuno-sorbent assay), western blotting is confirmatory test of HIV.
Prevention of AIDS:
AIDS has no cure, prevention is the best option.
Safe blood for transfusion
Use of disposable needles
Free distribution of condoms.
Prevention of drug abuse
Advocating safe sex and promoting regular checkup.
CANCER: Uncontrolled cell division leads to production of mass of cell called cancer.Study of cancer is
Cancerous cell lost the property of contact inhibition.
Cancerous cell just continue to divide giving rise to masses of cell called tumours.
Benign tumours:
Normally remain confined to their original location
Do not spread to other location.
Cause little damage.
Malignant tumours:
Mass of proliferating cells called neoplastic or tumour cells.
These cells grow very rapidly.
Invade and damage surrounding tissues.
These cells actively divide and grow; they also starve the normal cells.
Cancerous cells escape from the site of origin and moves to distant place by blood, wherever they get lodged
make the normal cell cancerous. This property is called metastasis.
Causes of cancer: Normal cells transformed into cancerous neoplastic cells by physical, chemical and biological
agents. These agents are called carcinogen.
Physical agents: ionizing radiation like X-rays, gamma rays non-ionizing radiations like UV-rays.
Chemical agents: Tobacco smoke, sodium azaide, Methyl ethane sulphonate.
Biological agents:
Cancer causing viruses called oncogenic viruses have a gene called viral oncogenes, induce transformation of
neoplastic cells.
Cellular oncogenes (c-onc) or proto oncogenes in normal cells, when activated lead to oncogenic
transformation of the normal cells.
Cancer detection and diagnosis:
Biopsy and histopathological study of the tissues
Radiography like X-rays, CT (computerized tomography)
MRI (magnetic resonance Imaging).
Presence of antibodies against cancer-specific antigen.
Tretment of cancer: Surgery
Radiation therapy
Laser therapy.
interferon- a response modifier used to detect the cancer.
DRUGS AND ALCOHOL ABUSE: self use of drugs and alcohol is called alcohol and drug abuse.it causes
addiction.some drugs are as follows.
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Opioid:-The drugs which bind to specific opioid receptor present in central nervoussystem and
gastrointestinal tract.
Heroin commonly called smack, chemically diacetylmorphine.
It is white, odourless, bitter crystalline compound.
Obtained by acetylation of morphine.
Extracted from latex of poppy plant Papaversomniferum.
Generally taken by snorting and injection.
Heroin is depressant and slows down body function.
Canabinoids:-Group of chemicals that interact with the canabinoid receptors of brain.
Obtained from inflorescence of Cannabis sativa.
Flower top, leaves and resin of cannabis plant are used in various combinations to produce marijuana, hashish,
charas and ganja.
Generally taken by inhalation and oral ingestion
Effects on cardiovascular system of the body.
Coca alkaloid or cocaine is obtained from coca plant Erythroxylum coca.
It interferes with transport of neuro-transmitter dopamine.
Cocaine is commonly called as coke or crack is usually snorted.
Potent stimulating effect on central nervous system.
Produces sense of euphoria and increased energy.
Excessive dosage causes hallucination.
Other plants with hallucinogenic properties are :
Atropa belladonna
Canabinoids are also being abused by some sportspersons.
Medicinal use of drugs:
Barbiturates, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, lysergic acid diethyl amide (LSD) used as medicines to help
patients cope with mental illnesses, depression and insomnia.
Morphine is a very effective sedative and painkiller used for surgery patient
Plant product with hallucinogenic property have used as folk-medicine, religious ceremonies and rituals.
Tobacco: It is smoked, chewed or used as a snuff. Botanical name of tobacco plant Nicotiana tabacum and its
family is solanaceae.
Tobacco contains nicotine an alkaloid.
Nicotine stimulates Adrenal glands to raise blood pressure and increased heart rates.
Smoking tobacco is associated with cancer of lung, urinary bladder, and throat, bronchitis, emphysema, coronary
heart disease, gastric ulcer etc.
Smoking increased CO content of blood reduce oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin.
Tobacco chewing is associated with cancer of oral cavity.
31 May is celebrated as tobacco less day.
Adolescence and Drug/Alcohol Abuse:--The period between 12-18 years of age may thought of an adolescent
Adolescent is a bridge linking childhood and adulthood.
Curiosity, need for adventure and excitement, and experimentation, are the common cause of drug/alcohol
Addiction and dependence:
Addiction is a psychological attachment to certain effects such as euphoria and a temporary feeling of well-being
associated with drugs and alcohol.
With repeated use of drugs the tolerance level of the receptors present in our body increases. Consequently the
receptors respond only to higher doses of drugs or alcohol leading to greater intake and addiction.
Use of drugs even once, can be a fore-runner to addiction.
Dependence is the tendency of the body to manifest a characteristic and unpleasant withdrawal syndrome if
regular dose of drugs/alcohol is abruptly discontinued.
Withdrawal syndrome characterized by anxiety, shakiness, nausea and sweating.
Effects of Drug / Alcohol Abuse:-Immediate effects are reckless behaviour, vandalism and violence.
Excessive doses of drugs may lead to coma and death due to respiratory failure, heart failure or cerebral
Warning sign of drug and alcohol abuse among youth include:
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Drop in academic performance,

Unexplained absence from school/college.
Lack of interest in personal hygiene
Withdrawal, isolation, depression fatigue, aggressive and rebellious behaviour.
Deterioting relationship with family and friends.
Loss of interest in hobbies.
Change in eating and sleeping habits.
Fluctuation in weight and appetite.
Intravenous drug user more prone to acquire infections like AIDS and hepatitis.
The chronic use of drugs and alcohol damages nervous system and cause of liver cirrhosis.
Use of drug and alcohol during pregnancy affect the foetus.
Prevention and control:-Avoid undue peer pressure.
Education and counselling.
Seeking help from parents and peers.
Looking for danger signs.
Seeking professional and medical help.
PMNL : Polymorpho-Nuclear Leukocytes
CMI : Cell Mediated Immunity
ELISA : Enzyme Linked Immuno sorbent Assay
HLA : Human Leukocyte Antigen
MALT : Mucosal Associated Lymphoid Tissue
SCID : Severe Combined Immuno Deficiency
NACO : National AIDS Control Organization
MRI : Magnetic Resonance Imaging
CT: computerized tomography.
CALT: Cutaneous Associated Lymphoid Tissue
Question 1: What are the various public health measures, which you would suggest as safeguard against
infectious diseases?
Answer Public health measures are preventive measures which are taken to check the spread of various
infectious diseases. These measures should be taken to reduce the contact with infectious agents.
Some of these methods are:
(1) Maintenance of personal and public hygiene:It is one of the most important methods of preventing infectious
diseases. This measure includes maintaining a clean body, consumption of healthy and nutritious food, drinking
clean water, etc. Public hygienic includes proper disposal of wastematerial, excreta, periodic cleaning,and
disinfection of water reservoirs.
(2) Isolation: To prevent the spread of air-borne diseases such as pneumonia, chicken pox, tuberculosis, etc., it is
essential to keep the infected person in isolation to reduce the chances of spreading these diseases.
(3) Vaccination: Vaccination is the protection of the body from communicable diseases by administering some
agent that mimics the microbe inside the body. It helps in providing passive immunizationto the body. Several
vaccines are available against many diseases such as tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, etc.
(4) Vector Eradication: Various diseases such as malaria, filariasis, dengue, and chikungunya spread through
vectors. Thus, these diseases can be prevented by providing a clean environment and by preventing the
breeding of mosquitoes. This can be achieved by not allowing water to stagnate around residential areas. Also,
measures like regular cleaning of coolers, use of mosquito nets and insecticides such as malathion in drains,
ponds, etc. can be undertaken to ensure a healthy environment. Introducing fish such as Gambusia in ponds also
controls the breeding of mosquito larvae in stagnant water.
Question 2: In which way has the study of biology helped us to control infectious diseases?
Answer Various advancements that have occurred in the field of biology have helped us gain a better
understanding to fight against various infectious diseases. Biology has helped us study the life cycle of various
parasites, pathogens, and vectors along with the modes of transmission of various diseases and the measures
for controlling them. Vaccination programmes against several infectious diseases such as small pox, chicken pox,
tuberculosis, etc. have helped eradicate these diseases. Biotechnology has helped in the preparation of newer
and safer drugs and vaccines. Antibiotics have also played an important role in treating infectious diseases.
Question 3: How does the transmission of each of the following diseases take place?
(a) Amoebiasis
(b) Malaria
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(c) Ascariasis
(d) Pneumonia

Question 4: What measure would you take to prevent water-borne diseases?

Answer Water-borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, hepatitis B, etc. spread by drinking contaminated water.
These water-borne diseases can be prevented by ensuring proper disposal of sewage, excreta, periodic cleaning.
Also, measures such as disinfecting community water reservoirs, boiling drinking water, etc. should be observed.
Question 5: Discuss with your teacher what does a suitable gene means, in the context of DNA vaccines.
Answer A suitable gene refers to a specific DNA segment which can be injected into the cells of the host body
to produce specific proteins. This protein kills the specific disease- causing organism in the host body and
provides immunity.
Question 6: Name the primary and secondary lymphoid organs.
Answer (a) Primary lymphoid organs include the bone marrow and the thymus.
(b) Secondary lymphoid organs are the spleen, lymph nodes, tonsils, Peyers patches of small intestine, and
Question 7: The following are some well-known abbreviations, which have been used in this chapter. Expand
each one to its full form:
(e) HIV
Answer(a)MALT- Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue
(b)CMI- Cell-Mediated Immunity
(c) AIDS- Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome
(d) NACO- National AIDS Control Organization
(e) HIV- Human Immuno Deficiency virus
Question 8: Differentiate the following and give examples of each:
(a) Innate and acquired immunity
(b) Active and passive immunity
(a) Innate and acquired immunity
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Question 9: Draw a well-labelled diagram of an antibody molecule.

Answer- see from theory
Question 10: What are the various routes by which transmission of human immunodeficiency virus takes place?
Answer AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is caused by the Human immunodeficiency virus HIV).
It has the following modes of transmission:
(a) Unprotected sexual contact with an infected person.
(b) Transfusion of blood from a healthy to an infected person.
(c) Sharing infected needles and syringes.
(d) From an infected mother to a child through the placenta.
Question 11: What is the mechanism by which the AIDS virus causes deficiency of immune system of the
infected person?
Answer AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
via sexual or blood-blood contact. After entering the human body, the HIV virus attacks and enters the
macrophages. Inside the macrophages, the RNA of the virus replicates with the help of enzyme reverse
transcriptase and gives rise to viral DNA. Then, this viral DNA incorporates into the host DNA and directs the
synthesis of virus particles. At the same time, HIV enters helper T- lymphocytes. It replicates and produces viral
progeny there. These newly formed progeny viruses get released into the blood, attacking other healthy helper T-
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lymphocytes in the body. As a result, the number of T-lymphocytes in the body of an infected person decreases
progressively, thereby decreasing the immunity of a person.
Question 12: How is a cancerous cell different from a normal cell?

Question 13: Explain what is meant by metastasis.

Answer The property of metastasis is exhibited by malignant tumors. It is the pathological process of spreading
cancerous cells to the different parts of the body. These cells divide uncontrollably, forming a mass of cells called
tumor. From the tumor, some cells get sloughed off and enter into the blood stream. From the blood stream,
these cells reach distant parts of the body and therefore, initiate the formation of new tumors by dividing actively.
Question 14: List the harmful effects caused by alcohol/drug abuse.
Answer Alcohol and drugs have several adverse effects on the individual, his family, and the society.
A. Effects of alcohol:
Effects on the individual: Alcohol has an adverse effect on the body of an individual. When an individual
consumes excess alcohol, it causes damage to the liver and the nervous system. As a result, other symptoms
such as depression, fatigue, aggression, loss of weight and appetite may also be observed in the individual.
Sometimes, extreme levels of alcohol consumption may also lead to heart failure, resulting coma and death. Also,
it is advisable for pregnant women to avoid alcohol as it may inhibit normal growth of the baby.
Effects on the family:
Consumption of excess alcohol by any family member can have devastating effects on the family. It leads to
several domestic problems such as quarrels, frustrations, insecurity, etc.
Effects on the society:
(a) Rash behavior
(b) Malicious mischief and violence
(c) Deteriorating social network
(d) Loss of interest in social and other activities
B Effects of drugs: An individual who is addicted to drugs creates problems not only for himself but also for his
Effects on the individual:
Drugs have an adverse effect on the central nervous system of an individual. This leads to the malfunctioning of
several other organs of the body such as the kidney, liver, etc. The spread of HIV is most common in these
individuals as they share common needles while injecting drugs in their body. Drugs have long-term side effects
on both males and females. These side effects include increased aggressiveness, mood swings, and depression
Effects on the family and society: A person addicted to drugs creates problems for his family and society. A
person dependant on drugs becomes frustrated, irritated, and anti-social.
Question 15: Do you think that friends can influence one to take alcohol/drugs? If yes, how may one protect
himself/herself from such an influence?
Answer Yes, friends can influence one to take drugs and alcohol. A person can take the following steps for
protecting himself/herself against drug abuse:
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(a) Increase your will power to stay away from alcohol and drugs. One should not experiment with alcohol for
curiosity and fun.
(b) Avoid the company of friends who take drugs.
(c) Seek help from parents and peers.
(d) Take proper knowledge and counseling about drug abuse. Devote your energy in other extra-curricular
(e) Seek immediate professional and medical help from psychologists and psychiatrists if symptoms of
depression and frustration become apparent.
Question 16: Why is that once a person starts taking alcohol or drugs, it is difficult to get rid of
this habit? Discuss it with your teacher.
Answer Drug and alcohol consumption has an inherent addictive nature associated with euphoria and a
temporary feeling of well-being. Repeated intake of drugs increases the tolerance level of the bodys receptors,
leading to more consumption of drugs.
Question 17: In your view what motivates youngsters to take to alcohol or drugs and how can this be avoided?
Answer Many factors are responsible for motivating youngsters towards alcohol or drugs. Curiosity, need for
adventure and excitement, experimentation are the initial causes of motivation. Some youngsters start consuming
drugs and alcohol in order to overcome negative emotions (such as stress, pressure, depression, frustration) and
to excel in various fields. Several mediums like television, internet, newspaper, movies etc. are also responsible
for promoting the idea of alcohol to the younger generation. Amongst these factors, reasons such as unstable
and unsupportive family structures and peer pressure can also lead an individual to be dependant on drugs and
alcohol. Preventive measures against addiction of alcohol and drugs:
(a) Parents should motivate and try to increase the will power of their child.
(b) Parents should educate their children about the ill-effects of alcohol. They should provide them with proper
knowledge and counselling regarding the consequences of addiction to alcohol.
(c) It is the responsibility of the parent to discourage a child from experimenting with alcohol. Youngsters should
be kept away from the company of friends who consume drugs.
(d) Children should be encouraged to devote their energy in other extra- curricular and recreational activities.
(e) Proper professional and medical help should be provided to a child if sudden symptoms of depression and
frustration are observed.