Psychoactive drugs are known as stimulants. They stimulate your body and mind. Some people take stimulants daily. Using psychoactive drugs can become an addictive problem. Thankfully, several treatment methods are available if you or someone you love suffer from addiction to psychoactive drugs.
Understanding the types of psychoactive drugs and what they can do to you is crucial in finding out if you have a problem. Or if you are just concerned that if you continue to go down this road, what could happen to you. For more questions or concerns, please reach out to us if you have questions for yourself or a loved one that may be struggling. Please contact us at (385)-327-7418. We are always available to help you find the best route based on your needs.
Continue reading below for more information about psychoactive drugs. Reach out to our specialists today if you require additional resources.
Psychoactive drugs are particular. It is a psychotropic substance which is a chemical substance. The drug acts on the user’s central nervous system. It alters brain function, resulting in changes in perception, mood, consciousness, and behavior, leading to intoxication, which is why people decide to take psychoactive drugs. All effects are temporary to the user. It changes your mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
Uses of Psychoactive Drugs
People can use psychoactive drugs recreationally. Using these drugs, purposefully, alters your consciousness. But, coffee is a psychoactive drug. So is alcohol or cannabis. Then there are using it for spiritual purposes. Such as eating the peyote cactus, which contains mescaline. Mescaline is a naturally occurring psychedelic that is in that cactus. Or there are mushrooms which have psilocybin. Psilocybin is also a naturally occurring substance found in mushrooms. Finally, this drug is also sometimes in medications. It is used in narcotics to control pain or as a stimulant to help with narcolepsy and attention disorders. Or in anti-depressants and anti-psychotics for treating mental illnesses.
Several of these substances found in many things can be habit-forming. Specifically, when they are in stimulants or depressants, they become dependent on the drug and may lead to substance abuse. However, other forms of the drug such as psychedelics can treat or maybe cure certain addictions. Many kinds of the drug are legally available, but if taken in excess, it can become physically and mentally harmful. Psychoactive drugs are common to treat anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and sleep disorders.
Types of Psychoactive Drugs
We can categorize psychoactive drugs into different groups. They come in the form of stimulants, depressants, narcotics, opioids, hallucinogens, and marijuana. Each group does something different to the brain and body. Stimulants affect heightened alertness, more energy, excitement, and improvement in the mood to reach euphoria. This drug is in caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine. It is in everyday foods like coffee, soda, and cigarettes. Using drugs like cocaine in an excessive way may cause different side effects. It can make you feel irritable, mood swings, hallucinations, heart palpitations, chest pain, and possible death. Most people say anything in excess may not be the best for you. This is mostly true, especially with substances like these.
Then there are depressants. When it is a depressant, it gives the user the effects of; feeling reduced tension, relief of anxiety, and muscle relaxation. However, it can make you have clammy skin, slow or shallow breathing, a rapid and weak pulse, coma, and possible death with excessive use. Depressants are in alcohol and tranquilizers, such as benzodiazepines. Finally, there are opioids which come from a poppy plant. When it comes to a poppy plant, it is called an opiate. If it is human-made, then It is called an opioid. This drug may give pain relief, drowsiness, confusion, euphoria, and respiratory depression. When using excessively, it can cause nausea, vomiting, convulsions, respiratory arrest, coma, and possible death.
These are also considered psychoactive drugs. Hallucinogens are in mushrooms, the acid also known as LSD. It can give the user the following effects:
- A sense of not being real
- Erratic behavior
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
Of course, if taken in an excessive amount, it can cause difficulty with thinking, speaking, memory loss, and depression.
Finally, the last one is marijuana, otherwise known as cannabis or weed. Marijuana can cause sensory perception changes, feelings of euphoria, appetite changes- typically increased, also known as the munchies: impaired memory, concentration, poor coordination, and changes in blood pressure. Marijuana stands alone in its drug class. There is one more drug that is psychoactive. However, it is illegal in the United States. It is called Rohypnol, which is also known as the date-rape drug. It can alter someone’s mental state to exploit the person. Which is usually the case when using a date-rape drug.
Examples of Psychoactive Drugs
Psychoactive drugs are in plants, animals, and medicine. If you are taking medication that is a psychoactive drug and it was not a prescription, even that is illegal. Natural substances, like mushrooms or cacti like peyote, are psychoactive. However, just because they occur naturally does not mean they are less harmful. You have no control or are unaware of the strength of the plant’s toxicity or what type of psychoactive substance it may contain. Psychoactive drugs can also be called designer drugs. This is known as a legal high (no longer the case) where chemicals make a substance that will mimic psychoactive drugs’ effects.
Some examples of these drugs are the following. Depressants versions are Tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, depressants, stimulants, heroin, prescription drugs. Also available as stimulants are nicotine, caffeine, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamines, speed, ice. Hallucinogen versions are LSD, magic mushrooms, ecstasy, and cannabis. Some drugs can fall into more than one category. To better understand, cannabis is both a depressant and a hallucinogen. Ecstasy is a stimulant and a hallucinogen. Some examples of these drugs are Abilify, Risperdal, Xanax, Adderall, Lexapro, Cymbalta, etc.
When taking the anti-anxiety versions of these drugs, they can have several side effects, such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, loss of balance, memory problems, low blood pressure, slow breathing. They are used to treat sleep disorders, panic attacks, and stress. If taking SSRI anti-depressants, they can cause dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, poor sleep, weight gain, and sexual disorders. This kind of drug is to treat depression, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. SNRI anti-depressants are similar to SSRI’s, but they work differently. They have side effects similar but also have headaches and agitation. Typical antipsychotics can cause blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, trouble sleeping, anxiety, drowsiness, tremors, uncontrolled facial movements, muscle stiffness, problems moving and walking, and weight gain. They are used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia.
Other Drugs Side Effects
Atypical antipsychotics are to treat bipolar disorder, depression, and Tourette syndrome. However, they can have serious side effects such as diabetes, high cholesterol, heart muscle problems, involuntary movements, muscle spasms, tremors, and stroke. They can also cause less serious side effects such as dizziness, constipation, dry mouth, and sleepiness. Mood stabilizers are also to treat mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorders. They cause similar effects as the previous drugs listed. Another kind is stimulants. They are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and can affect problems with sleep, lack of appetite, and weight loss.
Also, keep in mind that you should not mix any of these drugs to cause serious adverse effects. Please think of the label on a medicine bottle that says not to take with alcohol because it can cause other severe side effects. If you have the following symptoms, you should call 911 or immediately find a healthcare provider to get help.
Opioid Side Effects
Finally, the last drug in this classification of psychoactive drugs is opioids. It can cause side effects such as drowsiness, mental fog, nausea, constipation, and slowed breathing, leading to an overdose and possible death. Opioids can cause the user to become dependent and be addicted. Addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that makes you want to seek out the drug compulsively. Even if it causes you harm. Misusing drugs include taking too much of prescribed medication, taking medication that is not yours, taking it incorrectly, or getting high.
If someone has signs of an overdose, you should immediately call 911. Ways to tell are if the person’s face is ashen or feel clammy to touch. The body is limp, or fingers and lips have turned purple or blue if they begin vomiting and making gurgling noises. If they cannot be woken up or are unable to speak or if their breathing or heartbeat slows or stops. Of course, this is for an overdose, and you should always call for emergency services to get help.
Long Term Side-Effects
There have only been two long-term effects that are associated with the use of classic hallucinogens. Keep in mind that these effects are rare and only occur with excessive and long term use.
First, there is persistent psychosis, which is a series of mental problems. These mental problems include visual disturbances, disorganized thinking, paranoia, and mood changes. You may see things that are not there, or you are scared of. Your mind is messing with you due to the overuse and extended use of the drug.
Then, there is hallucinogen persisting perception disorder or HPPD. It may cause you to have flashbacks of specific drug experiences. These flashbacks are like hallucinations and may include visual disturbances. They also come on suddenly, without warning, and may begin to occur only a few days or more than a year after drug use. Often, this disorder is challenging to diagnose because it is mistaken for other illnesses. It can be mistaken for a stroke or a brain tumor as some of the symptoms are similar.
Get Help Today
So, psychoactive drugs are of many different kinds types and affect the central nervous system. It also alters brain function for temporary changes in their behavior. These drugs can be used with a purpose or recreationally, but you should be careful in what you are taking and how much. Suppose you have more questions or concerns. Or if you or someone you love needs help, please contact us at (385)-327-7418. We are always available to help you find the best recovery treatment.
Written by Alexis Miller
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