Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Courses of Instruction



Connections 20069. Structure and Function of Drugs

The two courses CHEM 254 and PSY 227 share the common topic of psychoactive substances. Drugs and Behavior is the introductory psychopharmacology course that focuses on the action, bioactivity and behavioral effects of psychoactive substances, especially drugs of abuse. It includes study of dose response, binding properties and the effects of these drugs on normal brain chemistry. Examples of such substances range from caffeine and prescription pharmaceuticals like Prozac to illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine. The one thing all of these substances have in common is that they are organic molecules. Organic II focuses on the structure, physical properties of organic molecules with functionality similar to the type listed above.

Included in this study is a general look at the reactivity of the active portions of those compounds. The take-away message is that all compounds with similar functional groups will behave in a similar way, both in terms of chemical reactions and in terms of biological activity. Students completing this connection will have a better understanding of the intimate relationship between the structure of a compound and the biological activity it exhibits.

CHEM 254 Organic Chemistry II
and PSY 227 Drugs and Behavior