Drug Effects

Report
Depressants
Stimulants
Hallucinogens
• Slows down messages between
brain and body
• Affects concentration and
coordination
• Speeds up the messages
between brain and body
• More awake, energetic and
confident
• Distorts a person’s perception
of reality
• May see and hear things that
aren’t there
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Alcohol
Barbiturates
Solvents and inhalants, like petrol, glue,
lighter fluids and paint thinners
Benzodiazepines
Cannabis
Opioids
Short-term effects:
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Reduces inhibitions, increases feelings of well-being.
Reduced co-ordination, decision making and impaired vision.
Can increase depression and aggression.
Reduced concentration and reflexes.
Blurred vision and slurred speech.
Headache, nausea, vomiting, sleep.
Coma and death in high doses.
Long-term effects:
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Liver, heart and brain damage.
Cancer
Sexual impotence and reduced fertility.
Concentration and short term memory problems.
Depression.
Family, work, relationship, legal and financial problems.
Stomach, skin and infection problems.
‘Benzos’
Are prescribed by doctors to relieve stress and anxiety,
relax muscles or promote sleep and are sometimes used
to treat epilepsy. They are usually in tablet or capsule
form.
Examples include: Diazepam (Valium®), Oxazepam
(Serepax®, Murelax®) Nitrazepam (Mogadon®)
Benzodiazepines
Risks:
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Dependance is a high risk even with short term use.
Tolerance occurs when your body gets used to taking a drug
and higher doses are needed to experience the same
effects.
Dependence the body may stop producing its own
chemicals that help sleep and relaxation.
Overdose common symptoms are cold and clammy skin,
‘bluish’ coloured lips, slow breathing and heartbeat,
snoring, gurgling, unconsciousness and coma.
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Cannabis
Hashish
Hash oil
Acute effects:
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Feelings of self-confidence, euphoria and relaxation.
Altered perceptions of time and space.
Heightened perceptions of taste, smell, touch and hearing.
Dissociation of ideas.
With concentration and memory difficulties.
In larger dose effects include, restlessness, anxiety, panic,
confusion. Hallucinations may occur.
Chronic effects:
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Respiratory deceases such as bronchitis and lung cancer.
Cannabis dependency
May trigger a psychosis such as schizophrenia in susceptible
people.
Decrease memory retention.
Decrease motivation.
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Opium
Morphine
Heroin
Codeine
Pethidine
Methadone
Drug effects:
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Feelings of intense pleasure.
Pain relief.
Diminished hunger and sexual urges.
Lower blood pressure, pulse rate and breathing.
Pin pointed pupils.
With increased dosage: feelings of warmth, heaviness and
sleepiness
Nausea and vomiting with large doses.
Adverse effects:
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Acute effects: Respiratory failure, decreased body
temperature,
irregular heartbeat. Death can occur.
Chronic effects: Addiction, menstrual irregularity,
constipation, impotence and infertility.
The additives used to dilute heroin can cause, collapsed
veins, tetanus, abscesses, organ damage and
endocarditis.
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Amphetamines
Caffeine
Cocaine
Tobacco
Ecstasy
Ephedrine
Drug effects:
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Low doses: Sense of well-being with enhanced selfawareness, increased self-confidence, increased visual
awareness, increased alertness, increased concentration,
hyperactivity, increased energy, talkative, irritability, reduced
appetite, dilated pupils, increased heart rate and raised blood
pressure.
High doses: Experience of distorted and gross alterations in
body image.
Amphetamines can be
swallowed, injected, smoked or
inhaled (snorted).
Adverse effects:
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Acute effects: High doses can cause paleness, headache,
dizziness, blurred vision, tremors, irregular heartbeat,
stomach cramps, loss of co-ordination and dehydration.
Chronic effects: Chronic fatigue and exhaustion,
psychological dependence and tolerance, paranoid psychosis,
bizarre violent behaviour, malnutrition, depression.
The effects of amphetamines can last
from four to eight hours. Sometimes a
person may experience a hangover effect
that can last up to three days.
Drug effects:
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Improved performance with low doses, increased confidence,
increased energy, exhilaration, enhanced physical and mental
well-being, increased respiratory rate, increased body
temperature, enlarged pupils, cardiac arrhythmias, decreased
appetite and insomnia.
Adverse effects (high doses):
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Acute effects: Loss of co-ordination, tremors, dizziness,
severe agitation, confusion, paranoid symptoms, nausea and
vomiting, weak and rapid pulse, anxiety reaction, cold sweat
and pallor.
Chronic effects: Heightened reflexes, loss of appetite,
insomnia, chest pain, heart attaches, cocaine psychosis,
violent and aggressive behaviour, decreased
libido/impotence, and hallucinations.
Drug effects:
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Similar to amphetamines although it has been reported that
ecstasy produces a more positive mood and sense of
intimacy.
Ecstasy is a derivative of amphetamines but also has
hallucinogenic properties in its side effects and residual
effects.
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Adverse effects:
Acute: Jaw clenching, teeth grinding, interference in
concentration and ability to study, and dehydration. Hangover
effects such as drowsiness, depression and painful jaw
muscles.
Chronic: The chronic, long term effects are uncertain due to
the lack of research results available. However, it is
acknowledged that neurotoxicity, memory and cognition
problems and depression may occur.
Coffee
Risks:
Moderate consumption (for example, up to 4 cups of coffee a day)
of caffeine is unlikely to cause any long-term damage.
Heavier use of caffeine can have some serious effects including:
osteoporosis, high blood pressure and heart disease, heartburn,
ulcers, severe insomnia, infertility, anxiety, depression.
Pregnant women who consume high amounts of caffeine have
increased risk of miscarriage, difficult birth and delivery of lowweight babies.
Coffee
Taking caffeine with other drugs
Combining stimulant drugs (like caffeine) with alcohol places
the body under great stress and can mask some of the effects
of alcohol.
For example, they will still be affected by the alcohol but may
not feel as relaxed or sleepy. They may feel more confident,
take more risks and increase the chances of experiencing
alcohol-related harm such as drinking too much or being
injured in a fight or accident.
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Magic mushrooms
LSD
Mescaline
Drug effects:
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Short-term: Euphoria, auditory and visual hallucinations,
distorted sense of time, space and body image, nausea
and dizziness, poor co-ordination, increased body
temperature and sweating, paranoia.
Long-term: Panic attacks, depression, anxiety and
paranoid delusions.
Drug effects:
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Increased pulse and blood pressure.
Dilated pupils.
Fever.
Intense perceptual distortion.
Auditory and visual hallucinations
Affective changes.
LSD effects occur 30 to 90 minutes after administration and
lasts 8 to 12 hours.
Adverse effects:
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Acute: Alterations in mood and perceptions in low doses. In
high doses, chills, nausea, anxiety, feelings of terror and
depression, acute paranoia and panic.
Chronic: psychosis, flashbacks (lasting from 1 second to 5
years). There are other post-hallucinogen perceptual
disorders that include false fleeting perceptions in the
peripheral visual field and colour flashes.
For more information:
www.druginfo.adf.org.au

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