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 2024/2025 (winter)
Duration 15
USOS code 02-AACA


in winter semester (3 x 45 min)

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)

Knowledge of the CNS, synapses, stimulants, hallucinogens and narcotics on basic level.


The following topics will be presented:

1) 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.

2) Introduction of the nervous system presenting the principles of the central nervous system (CNS), synapse construction.

3) compounds from the group of stimulants of the central nervous system of natural and synthetic origin: caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine and other derivatives of amphetamine.

4) opioids - natural products like morphine, codeine,- semisynthetic: heroin, oxycodone, hydromorphone,- synthetic: fentanyl, phencyclidine.

4) cannabis compounds (cannabinoids and terpenoids),

5) semi-synthetic hallucinatory and naturally occurring substances in mandrake and fungi, including tropane alkaloids, tryptamine (psilocybe), ergolines (LSD), carbolines (harmaline) and salvinorin A.

6) Preparation for the final assessment and writting an essay in the form of a scientific publication on one selected topic chosen from 3 given topics.

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) E. J. Corey, Barbara Czakó, László Kürti: Molecules and Medicine. Wiley, 2007.