When someone thinks of addiction, they typically are thinking of alcohol or other drugs such as heroin, marijuana, or cocaine. However, there are many other drugs that are commonly abused that may not immediately come to mind when one first thinks of addiction. Staying up-to-date on your knowledge of side effects and long-term effects of commonly abused drugs can help you if you find yourself in a position of needing to help a loved one who may be suffering from addiction.
Simulants are a drug that causes levels of nervous activity in the body to rise. These drugs have the effect of increasing mental alertness; however, they also can cause an elevated heart rate along with elevated blood pressure. Common withdrawal symptoms include depression and sleep disturbances. Long-term abuse of stimulants can lead to paranoia and potentially even heart failure.
Depressants cause the body’s central nervous system to slow down. Depressants have the effect of making the user feel calm and relaxed. Individuals with anxiety or with insomnia tend to be the ones who are more likely to abuse these drugs. In addition, depressants can lower a person’s inhibitions and affect their decision-making ability. Some of the other negative effects of depressants include drowsiness, poor coordination, and slurred speech. Abuse over time can lead to respiratory issues and liver damage.
Opiates are often prescribed to individuals suffering from illness or injury to treat pain. These drugs promote positive feelings coupled with blocking pain receptors in the person’s brain. Since a higher dosage continues to be needed in order to result in the same positive effects, overdosing is common. A consequence of overdosing may be cardiac or respiratory arrest. Withdrawal from opiates is difficult, with those experiencing opiate withdrawal often reporting symptoms of fever, chills, insomnia, vomiting, and diarrhea.
These three categories of drugs are some of the most commonly abused drugs. If you or someone you know is going through drug withdrawals or dealing with addiction, it is important to seek help right away.