General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Abuse And Addiction - Chemical, Biological And Cultural Aspects Of Drugs
Language English
Module lecturer prof. UAM dr. hab. Anna Przybył
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Professor
Faculty Faculty of Chemistry
Semester 2023/2024 (winter)
Duration 15
USOS code 02-AACA


Module aim (aims)

The main aim of this course is to provide students with the knowledge of natural products with narcotic activities and other drugs of natural and synthetic origin.Chemical structure of the compounds being a part of tranquillizers, stimulants, and drugs will be presented; mechanisms of their biological activity, as well as the historical and cultural aspect of their use and abuse.


Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)


The following topics will be presented:1) compounds from the group of stimulants of the central nervous system of natural and synthetic origin: caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine ... 2) cannabis compounds (cannabinoids and terpenoids),3) semi-synthetic hallucinatory and naturally occurring substances in mandrake and fungi, including tropane alkaloids, tryptamine (psilocybe), ergolines (LSD), carbolines (harmaline) and salvinorin A,4) opioids - natural products like morphine, codeine,- semisynthetic: heroin, oxycodone, hydromorphone,- synthetic: fentanyl, phencyclidine.5) depressants of the central nervous system. In this group, tranquillizers (a group of benzodiazepines), hypnotics, as well as alcohol and inhalants, including volatile solvents, will be presented.6) Introduction of the nervous system presenting the principles of the central nervous system (CNS), synapse construction. 7) Influence of the drugs on the CNS, the structure and operation of synapses, receptors and their action with the specific groups of discussed bioactive compounds will be explained.

Reading list

1) J. Brick, C. K. Erickson: Drugs, the brain and behaviour – the pharmacology of abuse and dependence. HMP, New York, 1999. 2) P.M. Dewick: Medicinal Natural Products. A biosynthetic approach. Wiley, 2002. 3) Graham L. Patrick: An Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry. Oxford University Press, 2005. 4) Suzanne Bell: Drugs, Poisons and Chemistry, USA, 2009. 5) K.C. Nicolaou, E.J. Sorensen: Classics in Total Synthesis. Targets, Strategies, Methods. 4th rep. Wiley-VCH, 2003. 6) Alan F. Casy, Robert T. Parfitt: Opioid Analgesics – Chemistry and Receptors. Plenum Press, New York, 1986. 7) E. J. Corey, Barbara Czakó, László Kürti: Molecules and Medicine. Wiley, 2007.