Drugs and Its Effects

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A drug is a substance which has a discernible physiological effect when taken into the body. These chemicals change the functions of the central nervous system (CNS), providing temporary relief from mental, physical and social problems. Usage of a drug over a period of time often results in dependence and tolerance of the drug. The user experiences physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when attempts are made to quit the drug. Tolerance refers to the increased ability of the body to tolerate the drug without ill effects. Due to drugs having the capacity to enhance performance, they are often used recreationally and abused. This leads to addiction which can potentially destroy lives. Drugs which alter behavior could be categorized as stimulants, hallucinogens and depressants. Stimulants are a class of drug which can alter the way in which someone behaves by stimulating the central nervous systems. In other words, they increase the activity of the brain resulting in increased alertness physical activity, productivity, endurance and motivation. Stimulants include amphetamines, called ‘uppers’, cocaine and nicotine. Users usually find relaxation and rest impossible and tend to have no appetite. Moreover, side effects may include muscle spasms, chest pain, nausea, and blurred vision due to an overworked heart and the subsequent high blood pressure. During World War II, stimulants were extensively used by soldiers to maintain alertness. By then, various forms of the drug were readily available such as methamphetamine. Today however, due to its side effects and addictive properties, possession and usage have been made illegal and doctor prescriptions have been significantly reduced. Hallucinogens are a class of drugs which cause an alteration in perception, thought, or mood. Examples of hallucinogens drugs include marijuana, magic mushrooms and cannabis. These drugs distort sensory perception by interfering with the activity of acetylcholine, norepinaphrine,...
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