Recreational Drugs and Birth Defects?

Discussion in 'The euphoric body' started by pacamohu, Jan 7, 2006.

  1. pacamohu

    pacamohu Iridium Member

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    My mother and I were having a discussion about drugs (specifically pyschedelic) and she mentioned the dangers of genetic birth defects caused from (specifically male) drug use.
    I was just curious. Although I am young, I still want to look out for my future if I ever want to have kids.

    Any comments?
     
  2. sands of time

    sands of time Gold Member

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    Recreational drug use can cause a wide range of birth defects if used during pregnancy, but I have never heard of anything like what you are describing. If this was true, than all drugs would cause this problem including alcohol and caffeine. We all know that drug use can reduce the sperm count, but as far as altering the sperms genetic make up... I don't think this it true.
     
  3. bcStoner420

    bcStoner420 Silver Member

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    Drugs alter your own chemical structure or dna, who knows, it could be possible those little guys get it to.
     
  4. thegod1

    thegod1 Newbie

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    If you were to take a drug a few days before you get someone pregnant or get pregnant then there might be a problem like birth defects. But I REALLY doubt drugs taken weeks/months/years before that will cause any problems at all. All of the shaman people are still doing fine aren't they?

    Your mom might be trying to scare you away from drugs, either that or shes heard them stupid DEA and other drug rumours.
     
  5. sands of time

    sands of time Gold Member

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    That is a good point. Sperm die continuously, so drugs would have very little overall impact in the long run.
     
  6. MrJim

    MrJim Gold Member

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    Drugs DO NOT alter your DNA - only retroviruses can do that.
     
  7. Speeder

    Speeder Newbie

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    That's not true, radiation can change your DNA left and right, also think about cancer.

    As long as no drugs are done during pregnancy or right before pregnancy by female, AND no drugs are done for I guess a few days/weeks by the male, all should be fine
     
  8. Speeder

    Speeder Newbie

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    chemicals can mutate your DNA as well
     
  9. sands of time

    sands of time Gold Member

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    Radiation can alter genetic makeup because the particles slice through cells. In order for a chemical to reach the DNA containing nucleus of a cell, it must pass through a complex membrane, which repells most foreign material. From there, the chemical must pass through the internal protection of the cell, which includes orgenells which serve the purpose of detoxifying the cell. If by some slim change the chemical was to reach the DNA, it would most likely destroy the DNA, or the cell. This is why I feel drugs probably do not alter sperm cells, other than killing some.
     
  10. bcStoner420

    bcStoner420 Silver Member

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    Mabey saying they alter your dna was wrong, but they do change your chemical structure so to speak, at least temporarily. It is also possible to change permanently the balance of certain chemicals your body produces and uses, this would be after some long hard drug abuse.

    And why is it that the natural born tolerance your born with for certain drugs can change from person to person, quite alot actually. Do you not think if your parents used these drugs that tolerance could possibly be handed down?
     
  11. sands of time

    sands of time Gold Member

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    We are talking about a sperm cell here... The sperm cell is basically a carrier of DNA, there are no developed organs, no brain and thus there is no chemical balance, at least one that would influence drug tolerances. If someone was to be born with a natural tolerance, this would be a result of the mothers use of drugs during pregnancy or an abnormal range of receptors or neurotransmitters that are effected by a given drug. DNA can also influence the development of the brain, and DNA can influence the types of drugs someone might use. Native americans have the highest rates of alcohol abuse. This could be a result of genetics.

    Drugs do indeed change the balance of some chemicals in the body. In the cells of alcoholics, there is an enzyme that detoxifies poisons in the cell, and so there are increased amounts of this enzyme. The levels of certain enzymes in the liver also increases to help remove the alcohol.

    What drug alters chemical structure?
     
  12. bcStoner420

    bcStoner420 Silver Member

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    ^^ I didn't know what else to call it so I said chemical structure. Anyway I was referring to the balance/ratio of chemicals in your body. If damage is done to certain receptors it is possible to change this balance permanently.

    I dunno, I just find it hard to beleive that putting any chemicals into your body doesn't affect your DNA, even if its just the slightest change. I sort of think of it this way, if everyone in the world did drugs daily for like say 20 generations or more, would humans not sort of "evolve" in any way to be resistant to these drugs or at least react differently to them. The reason I think this is possible is because certain bugs on farms/plantations can evolve to be completely immune to the poison they use to kill them, then can evolve like this on a weekly basis making it almost impossible for farmers to keep up. This is a rare certain type of bug though, but when it hits it's a disaster.
     
  13. sands of time

    sands of time Gold Member

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    Chemical structure and balance of chemicals are worlds apart. When you say chemicals, i'm assuming your refering to neurotransmitters, if this is not the case, please correct me. Chemical inbalances are not a result of the depletion of receptors, they are the result of overactive reuptake in the synapsis, a lack of these chemicals all together and so on. The purpose of a receptor is to bind with the neurotransmitter. If there is an unusually low number of receptors available, the effects might be similiar to having a lack of neurotransmitters.

    Than do some research and back up your claim with some solid scientific facts. The world of genetics and neurochemistry is very young, and there is a growing wealth of information. You have the worlds best research tool in your hands, don't let it go to waste.


    I had this crazy friend, his name was somethin like... Bob or Marvin or... Oh yea, his name was Darwin! Darwin and I used to get drunk at the ol waterin hole and shoot some pool. Anyways, he was tellin me about this crazy theory of his. He said that organisms that are weak die off, while the best fit organisms survive. He even wrote a book about it!

    In the case of these bugs, 1 out of 1000 may have the ability to survive the chemical in question for whatever reason. Perhaps they had huge quantities of enzymes that could break down the chemical, perhaps they had a recessive gene which made them immune to the chemical. Whatever the reason, these surviving bugs will pass down they're DNA to the offspring, and so they will most likely posses the ability to surving the chemical. The ones who did not have the genes to start with will die. There is no altercation of DNA... NONE! This is all natural passing down of DNA of the strongest, best suited organisms. Countless other examples can be listed.

    There is a tobacco betel... Of all things, there is a bug that litterly feeds off poison. Don't you thing these creatures evolved in this manner to live off such a poisonous plant? If you were to rub a tobacco plant after a mornings dew, it would probably make you vomit, but this bug lives off the shit.

    Also, you said you find it hard to believe that chemicals don't cause the slightest change in DNA... There is no "slightest change" with DNA, because the smallest change totally fucks up the entire organism. The slightest change could result in a 5 armed cyclopes. I'm not saying there aren't chemicals that can do this, I'm saying I seriously doubt they are common recreational drugs.
     
  14. bcStoner420

    bcStoner420 Silver Member

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    Is it not a difference in DNA that makes us all different mentally and in appearance in the first place? This doesn't make us so extremely different that some of us have 3 eyes and 3 legs.

    As for the bugs, the way it was told was that the bugs are evolving to the poisons almost as fast as new ones are made, they would work for approxamately 1 week before they were thriving again and had to have a new poison developed. Your explanation does work up to now, because they are also immune to past poisons. And I don't think there was a couple of them that were coincadentally immune to every poison they are trying, and then breeded from there to make the whole species as such. It was a type of beetle or cockroach type thing if I can remember correctly.

    I'm not trying to say I'm right, just throwing a theory out there. And as you said yourself, in this area knowledge is limited, so who really knows for sure. It's always important to explore all options and both sides of the argument.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2006
  15. sands of time

    sands of time Gold Member

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    Yes, we are all different because of our genes. When an external source alters that genetic material, it does not cause subtle changes, it either destroys it, or drasticly mutates it. We all know the damage that a missing chromosome can cause. I don't know how to explain this any better, it's been awhile since I've studied this stuff. Evolution is not based on DNA changing, it's based on DNA being passed on to offspring and thats it.

    As for the bugs, unless you can tell what bugs they were, this is not an effective example. Some bugs reproduce on a weekly basis. And yes, they would be resistant to the passed poisons as well. Remember, if the bugs survived because of a recessive gene, a high number of the offspring would carry the recessive gene. Some may not get the recessive gene and die, but many would survive and reproduce. From that point on, the gene would be carried by the offspring of that offspring, and so on.

    Your not thinking of locus or lady beetles are you???
     
  16. bcStoner420

    bcStoner420 Silver Member

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    No, I'm not thinking of either of those. It was on a special documentary type thing quite a while back, pretty sure I remember hearing it described as "the AIDS of the insect world" because they were specifically known for mutating/evolving whatever it was, to immunize against the poisons used in attempt to eliminate them. You made some good points there but there is still just one thing I wonder about. If evolution is based only on DNA being passed down, then why can species and such change so durastically over many years? I mean we couldn't have possibly got where we are from say homo habilis just from DNA from 2 beings being passed onto another. Outside forces had to play a role such as weather and all that. One good example that I saw on the discovery channel a while back was whichever of our ancestral species it was( I can't remember) learned to cook, and as soon as they did they gradually saw the species teeth get smaller and less useful for tough, raw meat. This was scientifically proven, I would say thats concidered an outside force.

    Also another little fact I've heard, introduction of meat into our "ancestors" diets was key to our brain development because of the extra protein.

    This has turned into an intresting thread...
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2006
  17. carousel

    carousel Newbie

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    dont think we;ve had the technology long enough to know.