This site is just one of numerous sections of "The Internet Pathology Laboratory For Medical Education," a medical web site containing over 1500 images and text along with laboratory exercises and tutorials that demonstrate pathologic findings associated with human disease conditions. "Pathology of Drug Abuse" is one of twenty tutorials that include text and clickable images for viewing. It provides a brief overview of the effects of a variety of drugs of abuse on the body. Pictures are provided to provide a visual of the damage that occurs, where appropriate.
This site attempts to describe the effects that various drugs have on the human body. Topics include: smoking, alcohol, intravenous drug abuse, cocaine, methamphetamine, GHB, ecstasy, and anabolic-androgenic steroids. Most of the topics covered include graphic images of cellular damage caused by drug abuse.
Target Student Population:
The site is designed for use by college students and workers in health care sciences studying pathology.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Some prior study of human biology or human anatomy and physiology would be helpful. Familiarity with both biological and medical terms is necessary to comprehend all of the material provided.
Type of Material:
The site contains text with accompanying clickable images.
This site could be used to provide students with a visual of the damage that drugs cause, as well as a general overview of the complications associated with a variety of drugs of abuse.
Evaluation and Observation
The text is clear and concise. While the text is not comprehensive in its coverage of the damage caused by drugs of abuse, it provides enough information for the reader to develop a general understanding of the subject. The accompanying images, both gross cross-sectional and microscopic, are excellent and are not intended for the faint of heart.
This is not intended for a general audience, thus some of the language is too technical for the layperson.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
As a tutorial "Pathology Of Drug Abuse" is a highly effective teaching tool. Anyone studying the effects of drug abuse on the human body will find the site both informative and graphic.
While references are given at the end of the tutorial, the inclusion of some links to related resouces on the web might be worthwhile. The inclusion of images of healthy organs would enhance the learning experience. Provision of some sort of glossary would make the site more effective for audiences other than the one for which it is intended.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is straight forward in its design and is easy to navigate. Images appeared quickly with just one click of the mouse.