Marijuana and Hashish
Marijuana and hashish are deleterious to the health and impair the short-term memory
and comprehension of the user. When used, they alter the sense of time and reduce
the ability of the user to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination.
They increase the heart rate and appetite. Motivation and thinking can be altered,
making learning and retaining new information difficult. Long-term users may develop
psychological dependence as well as paranoia and psychosis. Because these drugs are
inhaled as unfiltered smoke, they damage the lungs and pulmonary system and contain
more cancer-causing agents than tobacco.
Cocaine and Crack
Cocaine and crack stimulate the central nervous system and are extremely addictive.
They can cause psychological and physical dependency which can lead to dilated pupils,
increased pulse rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite, paranoia,
and seizures. They can also cause death by disrupting the brain's control of the heart
Stimulants and Amphetamines
Other stimulant and amphetamine use have the same effect as cocaine and cause increased
heart rates and blood pressure that can result in a stroke or heart failure. Symptoms
include dizziness, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Use can also lead to psychosis, hallucinations,
paranoia, and even a physical collapse.
Depressants and Barbiturates
Depressants and barbiturates can cause physical and psychological dependence that
can lead to respiratory depression, coma and death, especially when used in concert
with alcohol. Withdrawal can lead to restlessness, insomnia, convulsions, and possibly
LSD, PCP, mescaline, and peyote are classified as hallucinogens. Hallucinogens interrupt
the brain messages that control the intellect and keep instincts in check. Large doses
can produce convulsions and coma or heart and lung failure. Persons who misue hallucinogens complain
of persistent memory problems and speech difficulties for up to a year after their
use. Because the drug stops the brain's pain sensors, drug experiences may result
in severe self-inflicted injuries. Persistent memory problems and speech difficulties
Users of narcotics, such as heroin, codeine, morphine, and opium, develop dependence
and increase the likelihood of an overdose that can lead to convulsions, coma, and
Alcohol is chemically classified as a mind-altering drug because it contains ethanol
and has the chemical power to depress the action of the nervous control system. This
depression affects motor coordination, speech, and vision. In great amounts, it can
affect respiration and heart rate control. Death can result when the level of blood
alcohol exceeds 0.40%. Prolonged use of alcohol can lead to alcoholism, malnutrition
and cirrhosis. Up to 80% of sexual assaults involve the use of alcohol.
Learn more about the effects of Alcohol and Drug Use and Abuse.