Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

Acids, Bases and Cocaine Addicts

Objective
• Basic principles of acids and bases 
• Knowledge of the properties of a drug that define it as a weak acid or a weak base 
• Basic anatomy of the circulatory system 
• Understanding of how drugs distribute throughout the body

Background
This interactive module introduces high school students to basic biology and chemistry principles using the pharmacokinetics of cocaine and crack cocaine. Students earn how the structure of a drug affects whether it can be smoked and whether it can pass through a biological membrane. Also included is how the connections between the circulatory system and the lungs govern the speed at which drugs are delivered to the brain and differences in effects of drug that enter the brain quickly and those that enter more slowly. This is one of six modules from the Pharmacology Education Partnership that helps high school students learn biology and chemistry concepts through the study of drugs.

Activities
• Module 1: Acids, Bases and Cocaine Addicts
“Why Does Aspirin Cross a Cell? To Get To The Other Side!” 

Objective(s):
1. To understand the definition of a weak acid or base
2. To demonstrate the movement of ionized and unionized forms of aspirin between an aqueous phase (water loving) and organic phase (lipid loving) at different pHs.
3. To understand how aqueous and organic phases mimic the biological membrane and the intracellular extracellular space.

• Module 2: Drug Testing: A Hair-Brained Idea!
 “You Be The Judge”

Objective(s):
1. To demonstrate understanding of drug analysis using hair and urinalysis
2. To explore the ethics of drug testing and its implications
3.To understanding binding (chemical bonds) and binding sites

• Module 3: How Do Drugs Damage Neurons? It's Radical!
“An Apple Without A Peel”

Objective(s):
1. To demonstrate how an apple becomes oxidized in air and understand the process of oxidation.
2. To investigate the action of an anti-oxidant on the browning process of an apple.
3. To design and conduct scientific investigation.

• Module 4: Military Pharmacology: It Takes Nerves!
“A Fifty Minutes News Special: Nerve Gas”

Objective(s):
1. To understand the interaction of a chemical substance with biological targets such as enzymes
2. To understand how one compound has multiple actions throughout the body
3. To understand the basic structure of the circulatory and nervous systems

• Module 5: Why Do Plants Make Drugs for Humans?
“Spectrophotometric Analysis Of Salicylate In Plant Tissues”

The Challenge:
After reading about salicylates in plants, formulate a testable hypothesis in which the measurable variable is change in salicylate production. Design an experiment to test the hypothesis.

Objectives(s):
1. Use of a dichotomous key to identify plants
2. To determine the amount of salicylate present in plant tissue using UV-visible absorption spectroscopy or colorimeter 3. To compare various plant tissues with respect to the amount of salicylate present
4. To design and carry out a scientific investigation

 Module 6: Steroids and Athletes: Genes Work Overtime
“Steroid Use: THE GOOD, BAD, and UGLY”

Objective(s):
1. To understand the interaction of various steroids with biological targets within the human body.
2. To demonstrate the understanding of lipophilic drug storage in fat and slow diffusion into the bloodstream.
3. To understand the positive impacts steroids have had in the lives of many individuals who otherwise would die.
4. To understand the negative impacts steroids have had in the lives of people who otherwise would have fewer health problems.
5. To understand how a single chemical can have both a strong positive impact on the body, but the remaining product can be hazardous.
6. To understand that steroids are not only used in the popular world of sports, but in the everyday world by people they know.

Resources
• Computer with Internet access per 1 or 2 students
• Printer/copier for printable module worksheet and answer guide
Module 1: Acids, Bases and Cocaine Addicts
Module 2: Drug Testing: A Hair-Brained Idea!
Module 3: How Do Drugs Damage Neurons? It's Radical!
Module 4: Military Pharmacology: It Takes Nerves!
Module 5: Why Do Plants Make Drugs for Humans?
Module 6: Steroids and Athletes: Genes Work Overtime

Source
Duke University Medical Center, The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics & Pharmacology Education Partnership

2490 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145 | Phone: 800-705-8997

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