What are the Effects of Drugs on the Body?

Drugs can have a wide range of effects on the body, depending on the type of drug and how it is used. Drugs interact with chemicals and receptors in the brain, causing different effects. The body then metabolizes the drug or breaks it down into simpler molecules, known as metabolites, which can be eliminated more easily. In some cases, these metabolites can also affect the body.

When energy levels drop, users may experience anxiety, irritability, restlessness, and dizziness. Tolerance to drugs can develop with increased consumption. Abstinence is primarily emotional, but users may experience mild physical withdrawal symptoms such as depression, lethargy, and extreme hunger. Benzodiazepines are prescription-only drugs that can be abused and bought illegally on the black market. They are usually prescribed for short-term treatment of anxiety and sleep problems.

Low doses do not usually lead to tolerance, but large amounts can cause tolerance to develop rapidly. Benzodiazepines are illegal unless prescribed by a GP and are currently a class C drug in Jersey. When taken, users initially feel slightly stimulated and after successive inhalations feel less inhibited and less controlled. Hallucinations and loss of consciousness can occur. Sudden death syndrome is a rare risk that occurs more frequently among young people when they use refrigerants for air conditioning, butane, propane and some sprays.

These cause the heart to beat rapidly and erratically, leading to cardiac arrest. Withdrawal from a substance will generally have the opposite effect to that of the substance that was used. For example, if medications made you feel relaxed or more sociable and euphoric, then with the effects of withdrawal you may experience anxiety, moodiness, perspiration, nausea, irritability, sleep disorders, tremors and a sense of loss of varying degrees. For information on the health effects of alcohol, visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) website. Tea made in the Amazon from a plant (Psychotria viridis) that contains the hallucinogenic DMT is used in religious and healing rituals. This is combined with another vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) that contains an MAO inhibitor that prevents the natural breakdown of DMT in the digestive system, improving serotonergic activity.

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a depressant approved for use in the treatment of narcolepsy. Hallucinogens such as ketamine, LSD, mescaline (peyote), PCP, psilocybin, sage and ayahuasca cause profound distortions in a person's perception of reality. Dissociative drugs such as ketamine are used as an anesthetic in veterinary practice and make users feel detached from reality. LSD is an abbreviation for lysergic acid diethylamide while peyote is a hallucinogen found in cacti. PCP is an abbreviation for Phencyclidine while Salvia divinorum is a dissociative drug from the mint family native to southern Mexico. The most common side effects of medications that act inside the body are gastrointestinal issues such as nausea or an upset stomach.

Skin irritation is also common for medications used outdoors. Drugs interfere with neurons sending, receiving and processing signals through neurotransmitters. Some drugs such as marijuana and heroin activate neurons because their chemical structure mimics that of a natural neurotransmitter in the body. This allows drugs to attach to neurons and activate them but they don't activate neurons in the same way as a natural neurotransmitter which causes abnormal messages to be sent across the network.

Blanche Taboada
Blanche Taboada

Lifelong internet geek. Award-winning twitter fanatic. Award-winning bacon enthusiast. General zombie practitioner. Passionate zombie maven.