Psychoactive Drugs

By: Gabby Hewitt and Zoe Schmauder

So you wanna know about drugs?

Here are some interesting facts:

-Worldwide, an estimated 69 000 people die from opioid overdose each year.

-The inexpensive medication naloxone can completely reverse the effects of opioid overdose and prevent deaths due to opioid overdose.

-You can’t predict the effect that a drug can have on you—especially if it’s the first time you try it, and even if it’s a small amount or dose.

Types of Psychoactive Drugs:

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 relieve pain and commonly produce euphoria.

Psychedelic Drugs: A drug capable of influencing perception, mood, cognition, and behavior.

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Cocaine is an example of a stimulant.

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Alcohol is a type of depressant, even though it is not necessarily a drug.

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Opiates derive from the opium poppy.

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Psychedelic drugs can influence your perception of the world.

What is Tolerance and Withdrawal?

Tolerance: Increased resistances to a drug's effects accompanying continual use.

Withdrawal: Physical and psychological symptoms that occur when someone addicted to a drug stops taking it.

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People can gain a tolerance to any drug, including over the counter drugs. This can become problematic because these medicines are used to treat everyday illnesses, and would cause for alternative medicine as a replacement.

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Withdrawal can be very difficult.

What is the difference between Dependence and Addiction?

Dependence: Physical dependence on a drug. People who are dependent on a drug can experience the symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal.

Addiction: Behavioral changes caused by the biochemical changes in the brain after continued substance abuse. People addicted to a drug may feel their entire life revolves around the drug.

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People dependent on a drug may feel they are trapped, or chained, by their need for it.

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An addict's life revolves around their addiction to a substance.

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