Altered Consciousness

pertaining to psychoactive drugs

Psychoactive Drugs

A drug capable of influencing perception, mood, cognition, or behavior.

Stimulants

Drugs that speed up activity in the central nervous system.

Depressants

Drugs that slow down activity in the central nervous system.

Opiates

Drugs derived from the opium poppy, that relieves pain and commonly produces Euphoria.

Psychedelic Drugs

Consciousness- altering drugs that produce hallucinations, change thought process, and disrupt normal perception of time and space.

Tolerance

Increased resistance to a drugs effects accompanying continued use.

Withdrawal

Physical and psychological symptoms that occur when someone addicted to drugs stops taking it.

Addiction

When someone needs the drug because they have a constant drive to do it.

Dependence

When the drug causes problems and the person needs it to feel normal.

Facts

Using psychoactive drugs, be it to find pleasure or to avoid pain, can harm health and cause social problems both in the short and longer term.


The development of drug addiction can be seen as a learning process. A person takes a drug and experiences the psychoactive effect, which is highly rewarding or reinforcing, and which activates circuits in the brain that will make it more likely that the person will repeat this behavior.


Drug addiction is more common among people with mental disorders than among the general population.