Every drug that gets you high

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Explains the mental health effects of recreational drugs, what might happen if you use recreational drugs and also have a mental health problem, and suggestions for where to find support. View this information as a PDF new window. Moderate use is not usually a problem. The long-term effects listed below are associated with drinking a lot over a long period of time. These effects will go away if you stop drinking. The overwhelming pressure to go out drinking most nights can and did get the better of many students in my first year. Amphetamines are a group of drugs which vary in how powerful they are and how they are classified legally.

The effects of crystal meth are similar to crack cocaine but they last longer. If you have experience of a mental health problem, you are more likely to experience negative effects. These are taken to increase muscle bulk and enhance sporting performance.

They are slow to act, and do not cause an immediate buzz like other stimulants. They are class C drugs, legally available only from a pharmacist on prescription. Their use is banned by many sporting organisations. The short- and long-term mental health effects of steroids will disappear if you stop taking them. However, the symptoms of dependency may continue.

These are prescribed for anxiety and as sleeping pills. It is illegal to take them without a prescription written for you. For a list of withdrawal symptoms see our full benzodiazepines section. Buprenorphine and methadone are both prescription drugs that are used to treat heroin addiction. Buprenorphine trade name Temgesic is less sedating than methadone, and so may be preferable if you are working or if you drive.

People take cannabis as a way of relaxing and getting high. The effects you experience will largely depend on:. If you have experience of anxiety and depression, you are more likely to experience negative side effects. Whether or not you get psychotic effects when using cannabis depends on a gene which codes for a chemical called COMT catechol-O-methyltransferase, a brain enzyme.

There are two versions of this gene, one of which is associated with a much greater chance of getting psychotic effects than the other. Although ecstasy is a stimulant, it has different effects from other stimulants such as amphetamines as it causes feelings of empathy rather than euphoria. It is very dangerous to take ecstasy at the same time as MAOI antidepressants.

GHB is an anaesthetic liquid, which may be mixed with solvents or caustic soda. As it is very sedating, it has been associated with sexual assaults. Heroin is a painkiller, prescribed as diamorphine. The main effects are pain relief and euphoria but also depression. The main problems with heroin arise because it is very addictive. Many drug treatment programmes are geared to helping people who are addicted to heroin and other opioid drugs. Naltrexone Nalorex is a prescribed drug that eliminates the positive experiences associated with opioid use. If you are being treated for heroin addiction, naltrexone may be prescribed to help you stay off it.

Ketamine is an anaesthetic that is mainly used in animals. It is similar to PCP. It has antidepressant effects and is being researched for use in treatment-resistant depression and PTSD. Khat is a green, leafy plant that has been chewed in East Africa for thousands of years. The effects are similar to amphetamine but less strong. Khat was made a class C drug in , meaning that it is illegal to possess or supply to others.

It is used socially in much of east Africa, in much the same way that alcohol is used in the UK. Like alcohol, it becomes a problem with overuse. LSD is a synthetic drug that was first made in the s. It causes random and sometimes frightening effects, known as a 'bad trip', which may be delayed. As LSD causes you to hallucinate and lose touch with your surroundings, it can cause you to do dangerous things such as attempting to fly, for example.

In some cases, people have died due to dangerous behaviour as a result of taking LSD. Do not confuse mephedrone with methadone. My problem with this became very detrimental to my mental wellbeing, leading to psychosis and becoming a danger to myself. You would not normally experience mental health effects from using nicotine. However, it is extremely addictive, and stopping nicotine can cause negative effects. If you are taking part in a smoking cessation programme, you may be offered a medication such as bupropion Zyban , varenicline Champix or a benzodiazepine to help cope with the withdrawal effects and reduce dependency.

PCP is an anaesthetic, mainly used in animals. It is similar to ketamine. The symptoms you experience from taking PCP may be confused with schizophrenia. PCP can make you feel good but may also make you panicky, paranoid and low. Some people have died as a result of injuries they caused themselves after taking it.

See our full pregabalin listing for further details. Solvents, glues, gases and aerosols can affect the heartbeat and cause death. Repeated sniffing can cause a hangover effect, making you pale, very tired, forgetful and unable to concentrate. It is illegal to sell glues and solvents to young people under 18 if you suspect they may be using them to sniff. References are available on request.

If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our on permissions and licensing. Coronavirus: Find our information and support and more on our work. Recreational drugs and alcohol Explains the mental health effects of recreational drugs, what might happen if you use recreational drugs and also have a mental health problem, and suggestions for where to find support.

What effect could different drugs have? The possible mental health effects of the most commonly-used drugs are listed below. Not everyone will experience all of them. If you think you may be addicted to alcohol and want to give up: get advice and information seek medical help if possible — it can be dangerous to stop drinking suddenly.

Type of drug: depressant Short-term effects feeling relaxed and more sociable feeling subdued, so that you drink more in order to recreate the pleasant effects large amounts — uninhibited behaviour or aggression Long-term effects memory loss difficulty thinking clearly difficulty problem-solving poor concentration addiction Dependency and withdrawal symptoms anxiety delirium confusion, disorientation, hallucinations.

Type of drug: stimulant Short-term effects increased attention and alertness reduced tiredness increased energy and confidence Long-term effects agitation confusion aggression psychosis; paranoia Withdrawal symptoms anxiety depression tiredness irritability. Type of drug: stimulant Short- and long-term effects increased energy excitement competitiveness aggression dramatic mood swings confusion sleeping problems depression paranoia Dependency symptoms extreme tiredness depression.

You might use them: to increase the effects of similar drugs, such as alcohol or opiates to counteract the effects of stimulants, such as ecstasy or amphetamines, or to help with stopping smoking Benzodiazepines can be very addictive, and coming off them can be very difficult. Type of drug: depressant Short-term effects negative effects: agitation aggression hostility positive effects: reduced tension and anxiety clear thinking feeling calm and relaxed Dependency symptoms sleeping problems anxiety irritability heightened awareness For a list of withdrawal symptoms see our full benzodiazepines section.

Type of drug: opium-related painkiller Short- and long-term effects depression loss of libido hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms feelings of detachment. The effects you experience will largely depend on: whether you are used to taking the drug how much you take the type of cannabis you use your genes If you have experience of anxiety and depression, you are more likely to experience negative side effects.

Type of drug: stimulant , depressant and hallucinogen Short-term effects feeling relaxed talkative finding things very funny and laughing a lot feeling excited by the things you see, hear and feel hunger High doses may cause: distorted perceptions forgetfulness distress and confusion psychotic experiences hallucinations or other unshared perceptions Long-term effects long-lasting symptoms of psychosis, that may be diagnosed as schizophrenia depression in later life, if you use it a lot as a teenager.

Cannabis psychosis Whether or not you get psychotic effects when using cannabis depends on a gene which codes for a chemical called COMT catechol-O-methyltransferase, a brain enzyme. You are more likely to have psychotic experiences if: you use cannabis such as skunk, which has a high level of tetrahydrocannabinol THC, the component of cannabis that is hallucinogenic you have two copies of the version of the COMT gene, which makes you more susceptible to psychotic experiences.

Cocaine is notoriously impure, and often contains other substances. Type of drug: stimulant Short-term effects feeling wide awake full of energy feeling confident High doses may cause: hallucinations and delusions depression suicidal thoughts Long-term effects depression anxiety panic attacks paranoia irreversible brain damage worsening of pre-existing mental health problems repetitive movements Dependency and withdrawal symptoms loss of energy psychosis depression akathisia a feeling of intense restlessness.

Cocaine is extremely addictive, and it is very difficult to stop taking it. If you have a mental health problem, cocaine can make this worse. Type of drug: stimulant Short-term effects feeling happy and relaxed feelings of empathy, openness and caring Long-term effects depression, which does not respond to antidepressants loss of confidence anxiety confusion agitation and teeth clenching panic attacks after repeated use hallucinations and paranoia after repeated high doses. It is dangerous, potentially causing seizures, coma and death.

It is very dangerous to take GHB with alcohol. Type of drug: depressant Short-term effects loss of inhibitions calmness sedation confusion Long-term effects the above effects can last for up to seven hours. It is very addictive, and le many people to crime to fund their use of it. Type of drug: hallucinogen Short-term effects poor concentration changed perception of surroundings — things not 'looking right' or 'feeling right' feeling out of touch with reality and your surroundings delusions paranoia dream-like states nightmares feeling you have no thoughts a 'bad trip' may make you violent, suicidal or likely to harm yourself Long-term effects difficulty thinking clearly depression panic attacks anxiety Dependency and withdrawal symptoms tiredness depression.

Type of drug: stimulant Short-term effects feeling elated and energetic not being able to sleep loss of appetite relaxation feeling sociable hearing voices associated with high doses paranoia associated with high doses Dependency and withdrawal symptoms tiredness depression anxiety irritability. Type of drug: hallucinogen Short-term effects detachment from surroundings altered sense of space and time hallucinations feelings of insight, mysticism and spirituality feeling that you can fly anxiety associated with a bad trip feeling panicky associated with a bad trip Long-term effects likely to worsen existing symptoms of schizophrenia flashbacks of bad trips, when you feel you are re-living them.

Type of drug: stimulant Short-term effects alertness, confidence, talkativeness agitation anxiety hallucinations hearing and seeing things, and strange touch sensations paranoid delusions even if taking antipsychotic medication depression suicidal feelings. Type of drug: stimulant Dependency and withdrawal symptoms irritability restlessness depression.

Every drug that gets you high

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Drugs: What to Know