Psychoactive Drugs: What Are They?

Psychoactive Drugs

Psychoactive substances are actually quite common. They’re found in everyday substances such as caffeine or alcohol. Psychotropic drugs are meant to alter mental states. Alcohol and caffeine are just some legal ones.

Psychoactive, or psychotropics, are chemical substances that can affect the brain and nervous systems. This often causes intoxication, which is why they’re so popular. Psychoactive change brain function. This also changes the perception of situations or even moods.

People often enjoy taking psychoactive for this altered consciousness. Consider how popular caffeine and alcohol are. They can still damage a person’s body if used recklessly though.

There are many natural psychoactive substances. Because of this there a lot of people who think that means they are not harmful.

Natural is not always indicative of good. There are hallucinogenic mushrooms and plants. They can still be very harmful

If someone decides to consume a plant to reach a psychoactive state, then they are more likely to overdose. It can be hard to determine what is a safe amount. The person who has taken it does not know how potent it may be, or how toxic.

Not Always A Choice

Psychoactive drugs are usually a recreational choice, made on purpose. But there is a dark side to them.

Often people use them to take advantage of or harm others. It can alter another person’s mind and leave them defenseless.

Date-rape drugs are an excellent example of this. Such drugs include GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol.

Rohypnol is illegal in the United States. It is a well-known drug used on victims to make them vulnerable.

Psychoactive Drug Classification

Because there are so many different types of psychoactive drugs it is important to classify them. This way it’s easy to get an understanding of what each one does without extensive knowledge.

There are four different classifications:

  • Likelihood to cause addiction
  • Chemical Structure
  • Common effects on brain and body
  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration schedules for the potential of abuse

After these classifications, there are five different types of psychoactive drugs. This helps further understand what many drugs can do. They include:

  • Depressants- reduce tension, relieve anxiety, relax muscles
  • Hallucinogens- hallucinations, paranoia, increased blood pressure or heart rate, a sense of things not being real
  • Marijuana- relaxation, euphoria, appetite alteration, blood pressure changes, memory issues, concentration and coordination issues
  • Opioids- most of these drugs are made from morphine. Drowsiness, pain relief, euphoria, and can slow down breathing
  • Stimulants- more energy, alertness, improvement in the mood to euphoria, excitability

Some psychoactive drugs can seem harmless but have harmful side effects over time. Some are legal, and some are not. All of them have dangers seen and unseen.

Just because the danger isn’t as obviously doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s important to know about drugs and all of the potential harm they can do.

Nothing is good for the body in excess. The problem with drugs is that they are almost always taken in excess.