The habitual use of alcohol, coffee, tobacco and various drugs is harmful to the average person and in no way promotes better body function. We can be easily fooled by misleading advertisements into believing that such things are helpful. For example, an advertisement may tell us that cigarettes are an aid to digestion. Cigarette smoking after meals does cause the saliva to flow more freely and the heart to beat faster, aiding digestion. But, this may also result in overwork for the salivary glands and the heart. In like manner, many people may believe that a highball or cocktail at the beginning of a meal promotes digestion because of the greater flow of the digestive juices that alcohol causes. And what about that change of pace drink, tea? It is no different in caffeine content than coffee but possesses increased amounts of tannic acid.

1. Inform yourself. Any drug which causes the body organs to perform their work at a greater rate than normal, fatigues them sooner and causes them to age more rapidly. Stimulants and depressants overwork many vital organs, often when their best performance is needed for normal body activity. The effects of the use of such substances depend upon how much is used and whether or not the body is strong enough to repair the damage done.

2. In order to understand the discussion that follows there are certain terms whose specific meaning you should know. A stimulant is a chemical which, when taken into the body, excites the organs to greater effort. Depressants are chemicals which slow down body action but may also speed up body functions by reducing the influence of the nerve centers which slow down body action. For example, nicotine increases heart action by depressing the nerves that slow the heart beat, thus causing a faster pulse. Depressants deaden pain and lessen discomfort and thus make us feel better without removing the cause.

3. Much has been written and said both pro and con concerning the habitual use of alcohol, coffee, tobacco, and drugs, their temporary and permanent effects on the human body, both mental and physical. Material covering these subjects is available at any well stocked library. Part of the information that follows was derived from this source but much of the evidence against alcohol, coffee, tobacco and drugs that we are concerned with has been contributed by the shooters themselves.

a. Although all shooters are not in agreement that complete abstinence by habitual users is the solution, all will agree that these agents will in no way help to improve shooting performance or scores.

b. To learn the fundamentals of pistol shooting is no great achievement in itself. Anyone interested in becoming a pistol shooter can with persistency and training learn to shoot with some degree of proficiency. What then, is necessary to become a skilled shooter ? The top shooters in the nation today unanimously agree that control is the most important factor in becoming a top competitor. Control can best be explained as the coordination of mental and physical effort, born in thought and culminating in a concentrated, precise action. This effort must be natural, unstrained and smooth flowing. Any habit or action that results in departure from perfect coordination will lesson the degree of control and reduce the effectiveness of the action. In shooting, lessening of control shows itself in lower scores and poor performance.

c. What can you the shooter do about sustaining control? The same thing you would do when training for a match. When you find yourself having difficulty in maintaining your shot groups in the center of the target, you analyze and make corrections, be it position, grip or sight adjustment, etc.. Sometimes when control is declining, analysis may pinpoint some cause other than faulty technique in employment of the fundamentals. What did you have at breakfast? Coffee, two cups and two cigarettes. Enough to ruin anyone's control. Perhaps a few too many last night and a loss of several hours of sleep. Whatever the reasons, they should be noted in your score book just as you would enter unusual conditions at a match. In a short period of time, if you are honest with yourself you will be able to piece together enough information upon which to take remedial action. The most difficult person to convince is yourself. No one who habitually smokes or drinks coffee wants to admit that such habits have the effect of destroying control. So they remain slaves to habits which, in affect, they attempt to overpower by mental and physical exertion, often ending in frustration and exhaustion.

The following paragraphs cover the effects that alcohol, coffee, tobacco and drugs have on control of pistol shooting. If you have been plagued with a built-in error, it may be that the answer to your problems lies herein.


1. Effects of alcohol on the human body:

The name alcohol is used for a number of organic substances some of which, like glycerin, are necessary to good health. The scientific name for the alcohol sold for drinking purposes is ethyl alcohol. Ethyl alcohol is generally considered to be a habit forming narcotic. However, in the strictest scientific sense it is an anesthetic or pain killer like ether, which is made from it.

a. Alcohol taken into the body passes through the walls of the stomach and the small intestine and thence into the blood stream. It is rapidly distributed through the body and promptly affects the brain by decreasing its ability to take up oxygen. Even a small percentage of alcohol in the blood may sometimes cause remarkable effects. Inhibitions and the corresponding cautions are removed, reactions are slowed, coordination is impaired. The senses become less acute, particularly that of sight. The field of vision is reduced - ordinary objects become darker and indistinct - poorly lighted objects are lost entirely. Reactions are slowed down and concentration becomes difficult.

b. A peculiar property of ethyl alcohol is its ability to take up water. It is a valuable dehydrating and preserving agent. When used as a drink, alcohol produces a burning sensation as it takes up water from the delicate mucous membranes of the throat, stomach, and intestines, thus causing the drinker to become thirsty. Once alcohol becomes a part of the blood, its dehydrating properties are much reduced.

c. Although alcohol is a source of heat energy, its depressing effect upon the nerve centers that control the size of blood vessels causes the blood vessels of the skin to enlarge. So long as alcohol remains in the blood to affect the brain, extra heat loss by radiation will take place through the skin and prevent any benefit that might be derived from its oxidation and the resulting warmth. For this reason, in severely cold weather, the man who drinks whisky to keep warm is in much greater danger of freezing than the person who does not.

2. Effects of Alcohol on Shooting:

a. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol acts as a depressant rather than a stimulant. It dulls the senses, lessens the desire to win, destroys coordination and lessens the shooter's ability to concentrate. Alcohol taken at the proper time in the proper amount might possibly lessen the shooter's anxiety but by doing so other effects are released that are far more harmful to the body and detrimental to the shooter's score. No one can say what the right amount is or when it should be taken. Some shooters may shoot a good score with a hangover. But, the second day is when the after affects become acutely noticeable and the shooter's control may disintegrate on the firing line.

b. Experimental research scientists using delicate tests and sensitive instruments, have been able to demonstrate the adverse effect of even small amounts of alcohol on various isolated bodily functions such as sensory perception and discrimination, reaction time, fine coordination, judgment, alertness and efficiency of dexterity. The changes observed have no apparent difference in quality, magnitude or expression from those due to fatigue, hunger, distraction and a host of other environmental factors. These facts establish that one small drink of intoxicating beverage places the shooter under an enormous handicap. The false feeling of well-being is deceptive. Alcohol, and gun powder do not mix.

C. COFFEE (Caffeine)

What's wrong with drinking coffee? That is easy - caffeine. Each cup contains an amount equal to about two pinches of salt. That doesn't sound like much, until you realize that it is one-third of the amount given by doctors as a heart stimulant. With three cups of coffee you are getting a dose of caffeine calculated by scientists to be medically effective for making a weakened heart work as hard and fast as a normal heart. When a heart is ready to quit, and won't pump another beat without the help of caffeine, maybe such a measure is justified. Are you sure your heart is ready for a synthetic jolt three to six times a day?

1. Effects of Coffee on the Human Body: Many coffee drinkers say they can't do without it as a pick-me-up during the day. But let us see what really happens after that coffee break. Dr. Rolf Ulrich, in his book, "Coffee and Caffeine", reports that after coffee consumption, mental tempo rises first, and speed of association increases, but there is a noticeable decrease in the quality of work being done. In test examinations it was seen that the subjects finished quicker, but that false conclusions were more frequent. Reliability and accuracy definitely took a beating as a result of a coffee pep-up.

The physical result is the same. Caffeine raises muscular output temporarily, but in severe physical demands of longer duration, the muscular output decreases. As a famous scientist has said, "Coffee acts like a spur, which drives a horse to do its best, but cannot replace oats. ". That is the whole problem in humans - many of them do expect coffee to take the place of "oats". They pass up a solid breakfast because they can get by with coffee. The stimulating and exhilarating affects coffee produces is usually followed by a loss of energy and a feeling of unsteadiness. No matter how we look at it, coffee takes more from the body than it gives. All coffees contain caffeine but in varying amounts. Fresh ground coffee is the most potent in caffeine. Instant coffees contain half as much and decaffeinated coffees contain about one third as much. It is imperative that a shooter refrain from drinking coffee before and during the shooting session and be moderate in coffee consumption when not firing.

2. Are you considering a change of pace drink, like tea? Before you do, read the following:

It is not generally known that tea has larger amounts of caffeine and tannic acid (the two most detrimental ingredients) per weight, than coffee. Caffeine in tea leaves is about three percent in ratio of one to two percent in coffee. The general effects of caffeine are cerebral, cardiac and diuretic (copious urination) stimulation. As to tannic acid, tea leaves have about ten percent while coffee berries have only about five percent content. Tannic acid, when brought into contact with mucous membrane, acts as an astringent and diminishes its secretions. It coagulates albuminous substances and thus hardens animal source food matter in the stomach with which it comes in contact. It also leads to more rapid clotting of the blood when absorbed into blood circulation. There is evidence of liver damage from extensive use. In solution, it is unstable and should not come in contact with metals. Since coffee is made about twice as strong as tea in liquid form, a strong cupful of either will contain about two grains of caffeine and over three grains of tannic acid.

3. A shooter should stay away from the colas. Cola drinks, in addition to other soft drinks, contain that well known perk-up ingredient, caffeine. The bottles of some brands contain a listing of cola contents which should serve as a reminder. Know them and avoid them while shooting.

D. TOBACCO (Nicotine )

For a period after January 1964 when the U. S. Surgeon General (see paragraph D-3, this chapter) revealed to the American public the results of an investigation into cigarette smoking and health, many smokers quit the habit. At the end of one year a poll taken revealed that one out of every four hundred smokers had quit. This small percentage points up the fact that most smokers will continue the habit no matter what the future consequences might be. The smoking habit is easily acquired and even after a short duration becomes a difficult habit to break. For this reason one who has not yet acquired the habit should be encouraged to abstain. The objective of this section is to provide you the shooter with information that will enable you to establish control of smoking in order to improve your shooting. Who knows, once you gain control of the smoking habit and can turn it on or off at will you might be inspired to quit all together.

1. The Effects Tobacco has on the Human Body. Nicotine is a powerful alkaloid poison. Its chemical formula in C10H14N2, which means that it contains carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen in the proportions indicated by the numbers.

a. Being a volatile substance, it is carried along with the burning smoke of the tobacco. In cigarettes about 61 percent of the nicotine is burned and destroyed, 27 percent is ordinarily exhaled, and about 12 percent is absorbed by the smoker. The absorbed nicotine specifically affects the nerves that regulate the heart rate and the size of the blood vessels, and, therefore, alters the pulse rate and the blood pressure. For about ten minutes after smoking is begun, the pulse rate is slowed about five beats per minute because of an increased stimulation of the nerves that slow the heart beat. After this temporary slowing effect, nicotine depresses these same nerves. This results in an increased pulse rate that lasts for two or three hours. The increase, for the average person, is from five to ten extra beats per minute. One cigarette after breakfast will step up heart beat for half the shooting day. With the damage already done, abstaining for the rest of the day's shooting is to small avail. The work of the heart is affected not only by the increased pulse rate but also by the decrease in size of the arteries. Both of these factors raise blood pressure and increase the work of the heart.

b. The carbon monoxide which is also present in tobacco smoke will, if inhaled, reduce the capacity of the hemoglobin of the red corpuscles to carry oxygen. This is due to the fact that hemoglobin absorbs carbon monoxide about 300 times faster than it does oxygen with which it ordinarily combines. Therefore, to the extent that the blood takes on carbon monoxide it cannot in that same proportion, carry oxygen. This results in "cutting the wind", or breathlessness, whenever there is exertion.

c. In 1959, the American Cancer Society began a study to prove that there exists an association between cigarette smoking and many physical complaints. The study involved 1,079,000 men and women (smokers and nonsmokers). For comparison purposes we have listed five of the more important complaints:

Cough 33.2% 5.6%
Loss of appetite 3.3% 0.6%
Shortness of breath 16.3% 4.7%
Easily fatigued 26.1% 14.9%
Loss of weight 7.3% 4.5%

One can readily see that the complaints were more prevalent among the cigarette smokers than non-smokers. The study further revealed that lung functioning is affected if one inhales cigarette smoke regardless of age. For example: A young man who smokes one pack of cigarettes per day has the same efficiency of lung functioning of a man 20 years senior to him who does not smoke.

2. Effects of Tobacco on Shooting:

a. The combined effects of nicotine and carbon monoxide explain why the pistol shooter must avoid smoking if he is to shoot with the greatest possible skill. This conclusion does not mean that an individual or a team whose members smoke may not win, if it is competing against inferior opponents, but it does mean that any individual shooter on a team cannot perform at his best if he uses tobacco. The top competition today does not allow a margin of indulgence if you expect to win. Denying yourself a quick drag on the weed is not a sacrifice, it is a necessity for victory.

b. Simply explained, cigarette smoking affects the smoker by:

(1) Initially, slowing the pulse rate.

(2) Increasing the pulse rate.

(3) Increasing blood pressure and overworking the heart.

(4) Reducing the oxygen capacity of the blood, causing shortness of breath.

(5) Bringing on fatigue more quickly.

c. From the standpoint of shooting, smoking does affect performance, and more importantly, control. It is possible to become more proficient in shooting and still continue smoking, but the road is long and the progress slow. Many of our top shooters can attest to that fact. Today most of the top shooters are in the non-smoking class. It is not that they have never had the habit, but that the determination to reach the top was stronger than the addiction to tobacco. Occasionally, you may see one sport a cigar, but seldom, if ever, will you see one inhale tobacco smoke. Consequently, the crux of the problem of smoking is the inhalation of tobacco smoke. Herein lies the answer. Stop inhaling and you have solved the problem. It is the inhaled nicotine and carbon monoxide that are responsible for upsetting the normal body balance. For this reason we find many shooters making the switch from cigarettes to pipes and cigars, since the smoke of each is generally too toxic for the normal person to inhale. Performance as well as health improves accordingly. For the shooter who will consider quitting, we offer a plan, entitled "You Can Quite Smoking", paragraph D-4, this chapter. Mark Twain once said that he had no difficulty giving up smoking, and added "I have done it a thousand times". If you decide though, make it permanent.

3. The report of the Surgeon General of the US Public Health Service, released on 11 January 1964.

"SMOKERS DIE EARLY" it says, "Smoking cigarettes is a health hazard that calls for corrective action - and is a major cause of lung cancer and other death-dealing diseases, especially in men", a blue-ribbon federal panel reported.

In short, the panel indicated, the more you smoke, the greater your risk of an early death. Deeply inhaled cigarette smoke sends a threat of premature death spreading through the lungs, arteries and the heart itself.

a. Lung tissue was obtained from more than 1000 postmortems, put on microscope slides and carefully examined by pathologists. The slides were identified only with coded numbers, and pathologists did not know their origin. Later, statisticians matches the pathological findings with the histories of the dead patients. The results added up to an elaborate description of progressive smoke damage.

b. Deeply inhaled smoke, the researchers found, irritates the cells that line the tiniest chambers of the lung (alveoli). The walls of the alveoli thicken, lose their elasticity and much of their ability to do their vital job of exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen. Subjected to sudden stress -- such as a cough or sneeze -- the alveolar walls rupture; a minute part of the lung becomes useless.

c. Even while it is attacking the alveoli, smoke also damages the small arteries that carry blood to the interior lung surfaces for oxygenation. The artery walls become fibrous and thickened. Soon, internal deposits on the thickened walls make the arteries so narrow that little blood can get through. Eventually many tiny arteries are blocked completely.

These two sets of events alone would be enough to explain why thousands of Americans are "lung cripples", suffering from what most U. S. Doctors call pulmonary fibrosis and chronic emphysema. But the damaging chain of events runs on.

d. The destruction of smaller blood vessels in the lung and the thickening of slightly larger ones increases the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries and puts a strain on the right side of the heart. It also prompts the left side of the heart to work harder to pump blood against increased resistance. A healthy heart could probably stand the extra work; a heart already weakened by other difficulties might fail.

e. Even while the heart is being asked to overexert, carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke combines with red blood cells decreases their capacity to carry oxygen. As a result, the hardworking heart muscle is given less fuel to do its job. At the same time, tobacco's nicotine causes a constriction of small arteries in the extremities and speeds up the heart, increasing its need for oxygen and complicating the coronary problem.

f. Smoking dulls the sense of taste causing loss of appetite, thus creating a loss of weight. For this reason people who give up smoking tend to stop losing weight. They begin to taste food again and enjoy eating.

4. You Can Quit Smoking!

a. A vicious, velvety trap; Light a cigarette, smoke it, taste its bitterness, put it out. Even as you do, you know that you will want another. Not that you enjoy it. You simply want it, and why ?

(1) When you smoke a cigarette, for instance, nicotine, carbon monoxide, small amount of hydrocyanic acid, pyridine and various phenols and aldehydes are absorbed into your lungs and mouth. Your nervous system is momentarily stimulated. Your blood pressure goes up. Your pulse rate increases.

(2) Most important of all to the satisfaction of the habitual smoker, your blood vessels undergo a constriction. This "slows you down". That is, after the momentary stimulation, smoking depresses, for a far longer period.

(3) When you smoke, you are artificially slowing down most of your body's normal activities. If you are suddenly confronted with an emotional psychological emergency: adrenalin is pumped into your blood stream, your muscles tense, you breathe faster and get edgy, jittery -- "nervous". Tobacco smoke retards these natural processes by slowing the blood circulation and thus "calming you down". You find a smoke is "good for your nerves".

(4) If you smoke a pack and a half of cigarettes a day, you smoke an average of one cigarette every 32 minutes of your waking hours. That many crises don't arise every day. You need cigarettes simply because your body has come to expect this depressant effect every so often. You begin consciously to want to cigarette.

(5) There is little true pleasure in smoking. The harsh taste, the hot dryness is tolerated, for the sake of tobacco's mild narcotic effect. If it were possible for you to go without cigarettes for the next 24 hours, and then light one, you would find out how distasteful and noxious tobacco smoke really is. If you think this is an exaggeration, try it.

(6) Think back to the time many years ago when you smoked your first cigarette. How did it taste? Gaseous, strong, biting, wasn't it? This is the experience that you may give your system 30 to 60 times a day. You are able to do it because the human mechanism is a marvelously adjustable piece of machinery which can get used to almost anything.

b. What can you do about it? You have already taken one big step toward giving up smoking: you have been thinking about the detrimental effects of smoking and about giving it up. If you want to stop smoking, think about giving it up at one fell swoop. Think of it cooly and calmly, without fear or hopelessness. Think of what it would be like to never have to smoke. Giving up smoking isn't all self-denial; there are compensations. There are so many good things to enjoy more when you give yourself a chance to fully appreciate them. You will never want to go back to smoking.

(1) When you give up smoking, your food will taste much better. Your nose and throat and lungs will not be continuously permeated with smoke. You will begin to smell the world around you. When you walk into a garden you will smell as well as see the flowers. When you get up in the morning, you won't find your throat clogged with phlegm, and you won't cough or clear your throat so often.

(2) You will actually feel far less nervous. That is hard to believe -- for during the first days of non-smoking you will be nervous. The depressant effect smoking has exerted on your body for years suddenly ends, and the unfamiliar effect is almost overwhelming. You will possibly be more emotional; you may laugh at trivial things and, for a while, be tense, jumpy. But gradually the nervousness diminishes. You will be calmer, more poised. For when you stop slowing down your body and cutting your energy with tobacco you will find that you have much more energy. There will be more time to get things done.

(3) A word of caution here. It is generally believed that a reformed smoker gains weight. If you have trouble with your waistline, remember this: when you stop smoking, you will not gain more than a few pounds. When you stop smoking, you will have a great increase in energy. In using up that energy, you will burn away a lot of the weight that you would otherwise put on.

(4) If you have read this far, you probably think you are about ready to swear off. Don't do it yet.

c. To stop smoking, follow these rules:

(1) Watch and wait until some time when your life is on a fairly even keel. Don't try it when you are leaving on an important trip, or preparing to give a big party, or when you are facing some personal emergency. Don't postpone it too long, either, or you will lose the momentum you are gradually building up.

(2) But some sunny morning -- maybe on a weekend -- you will wake up feeling especially good. You will have had a good night's sleep; you will feel fit for anything. The idea of stopping smoking will pop into your head. Why foul up a wonderful day with the noxious fumes of burning tar and nicotine? Decide, then and there quietly and firmly, that you are through with smoking! This is the moment, intelligently selected and properly prepared for, when you can get off with a running start.

(3) After you have started yourself off with as much momentum as you can, tell your friends that you have given up smoking. Don't be smug or complacent or boastful, but let people know what you are doing. Then, at some point when you are seriously tempted to smoke, the thought of all the derisive laughter you will get for giving in may well carry you over the crisis.

(4) Most smokers have fixed ideas about the occasions when a smoke tastes best. The first cigarette after breakfast, or the one with a cocktail before dinner. If such associations are likely to tempt you to smoke, brace yourself in advance for such temptations; tell yourself that such an occasion is coming, and that you must be prepared to want to smoke badly. If you hold out only for a moment, that sudden strong temptation will die almost as quickly as it arose.

(5) Don't permit yourself to make a single exception. Until the non-smoking habit is firmly implanted, "don't". If a habit is not fed, it dies relatively quickly, but it can subsist for a long time on the slightest food. If you occasionally let yourself have one cigarette or pipe on the ground that "just one won't hurt", you will keep alive the desire to smoke. Just one drink is too many for an alcoholic, as one cigarette is too many for the heavy smoker who is trying to reform. Win the battle of the moment -- every time you say no to the temptation to smoke, you are making the next "no" easier.

(6) Baby yourself to an extent. Most of us are inclined to launch sudden, ambitious programs of self-improvement. We try to do more than we can reasonably expect of ourselves. On the contrary, indulge yourself a little. Eat what you want and enjoy it. Make it a habit to carry mints, gum, or salted nuts. During the first few weeks keep substitutes on hand -- and pop one into your mouth whenever you feel like smoking.

(7) Let your sleep work for you. On the night of the first day that you give up smoking, think for a moment when you go to bed of how today you did not smoke. Then tell yourself, "Tomorrow I am not going to smoke". Repeat it to yourself as you get drowsy. This will be the last thing in your conscious mind as you drop off to sleep. When you wake in the morning, remind yourself that you are going to get through this day, too, without smoking. Don't make a big issue of it; just briefly say: "This day I don't smoke". Even if you don't follow the other rules set down here, this exercise in "controlled sleep" could get you over the hump. You will find a sense of freedom and independence and self-assurance results from simply going half a day without tobacco. This is a sharp, continuing pleasure, and every minute helps to strengthen you against the next minute's temptation. Above and beyond this pleasant, heartening knowledge is the awareness that you are doing something of which you will be proud -- not to mention healthier and happier -- for the rest of your life. Six months or six years from now, when someone offers you a cigarette, you will refuse it, but not weakly or defensively. You will say "Thanks -- I use to smoke, but I gave it up.".

5. Expense: If a man smokes two packs of cigarettes a day for 365 days it will cost him $290.00 a year! Quit smoking and automatically you save money, remain healthy, and start winning pistol matches. This is a bargain you can't afford to overlook.


At one time or another some shooters have probably tried a sedative drug or tranquilizer to see what effects it would have on their shooting. Drugs affect different people in different ways, so dosage would be a problem even if they did any good toward reducing anxiety, nervousness, etc. Any time medication or drugs are used that affect the body functions, there is a chance that the side effects will do more harm than good to the shooter's performance.

Some shooters no doubt prescribe certain remedies for themselves when they have a cold, a stopped-up nose or a headache. Here are some of the effects of the drugs found in these and other preparations. Most of the effects are not conductive to good shooting. Most drugs are habit forming and all are a deterrent to good health if used frequently without proper medical advice. There is not substitute for good clean living, a healthy body and just plain GUTS!

1. A depressant slows reflexes, lessens the desire to win, promotes carelessness, causes loss of concentration and coordination.

2. A stimulant causes nervousness, hypertension, increases heartbeat, excessive movement of the hands, trembling, etc.

3. Drugs in daily use.

a. Barbiturates. (To induce rest and sleep)

Phenobarbital has special effects against insomnia. Continued use increases tolerance and leads to dependence. Acute anxiety may result if the drug is abruptly discontinued after long use. Alcoholics substitute barbiturates for alcohol and become just as devoted to it. Even after moderate doses, lassitude, dizziness, headache, nausea and diarrhea may occur. Other toxic effects are respiratory depressions peripheral vascular collapse, feeble heart beat, low body temperature and continued stupor with depressed reflexes.

b. Analgesic (Pain relief and reduction of symptomatic discomfort)

Aspirin - acetylsalicylic acid (relief of headache, fever and other symptomatic discomfort).

Gastrointestinal distress due to irritation is common. Continued dosage symptoms same as quinine (Cinchonism): Dizziness, ringing in ears, impaired hearing, acidosis and depressed blood clotting mechanism.

c. Stimulants or adrenergics (Relief from drowsiness, depression, curbing the appetite and relief from nasal congestion. )

Benzedrine, amphetamine and ephedrine elevate blood pressure, accelerate the heart beat, causes headaches, nervousness, insomnia and spasms of the urinary bladder's sphincter. (Muscular control that permits urination)

d. Antihistamines (Relief of colds and fever and relief or prevention of allergy symptoms)

Exerts a potent sedative effect. There is a danger of toxic action, especially drowsiness. A form of antihistamine namely, methapyrilene, is used for sedative purposes. Used in conjunction with alcohol, this sedative action is especially dangerous as alcohol heightens the depressant effect.

e. APC pills: (Relief of headache and other symptomatic discomfort) Basic ingredients usually are acetanilid or acetophenetidin and caffeine. Continued use developes a blood condition known as methemoglobinemia or simply a union of oxygen and iron in the blood instead of oxygen and hemoglobin, the natural state. The oxygen in this instance is retained in the blood and not exchanged normally. Another combination used is aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), phenacetin and caffeine. The phenacetin adds the property of antipyretic (reduction of fever). Other effects similar to above.

f. Decongestant tablets. (Relief of colds, fever and prevention of allergy symptoms) Basic ingredients quite similar, usually as follows:

(1) Phenylephrine hydrodoride. A stimulant of the sympathomimetic group. It is a local vaso-constrictor, elevates blood pressure, reduces swelling of nasal membranes. It is usually mixed with a local anesthetic to retard rate of absorption. Used in treatment of vasomotor collapse which is a condition where the nervous system cannot control the dilation and contraction of the blood vessels.

(2) Phenindamine tartrate. An antihistamine. The tartaric acid may be detrimental to the kidneys.

(3) Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin). See aspirin described above.

(4) An antipyretic (reduce fever) and analgesic.

(5) Caffeine. A stimulant, produces wakefulness and respiratory stimulation. When combined with an analgesic it is used to relieve headache. Continued use may produce nervousness and insomnia.

(6) Vitamin "C", (ascorbic acid): large dosage leads to gastrointestinal upset.