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Submitted by admin on Thu, 12/08/2011 - 14:21
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What are the effects of drugs?
All drugs carry risks and you never know how you’ll react to a drug so it’s a bit of a lottery. Drugs can be broadly divided into three categories based on their main effects. They may act solely as stimulants, as depressants or as hallucinogens (aka psychedelics). Quite a few drugs have mixed effects. Many show two effects at the same time, and can then be described either as stimulant hallucinogens (for example, ecstasy) or as depressant hallucinogens (for example, cannabis). Stimulants make you feel alert and like you have lots of energy and confidence. However, they can put pressure on your heart and there is a risk of heart failure. They include cocaine, speed, ecstasy, and mephedrone. Depressants make you feel relaxed and chilled out but they can slow down your heart rate and breathing which can be fatal. They include alcohol, tranquillisers, heroin and cannabis. Hallucinogens can make you view reality in a distorted way - your sense of movement and time can speed up or slow down and you might see vivid distortions, illusions or hallucinations (seeing things that are there). They include LSD and magic mushrooms. In addition to these 3 broad categories, each particular drug has its own specific effects and risks, Some drugs are quite new and their harms may not yet be fully known. Sometimes drugs don’t contain what you think they do, for example, PMA and mephedrone have been sold as MDMA/ecstasy. Information on the known effects of drugs is available in the A-Z of drugs.
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Where do drugs come from?
Drugs like cannabis and heroin come from plants. Other drugs are man-made in laboratories. How a drug is made and what other substances are added to it can vary from time to time and from place to place. You can’t be 100% sure of what you're getting when you use drugs obtained anywhere else except through a reliable pharmacy. Even in the case of purely 'natural drugs' like magic mushrooms, there are risks (for example, unless you know what you’re doing you may pick mushrooms by mistake that are poisonous).
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What is the worst drug?
All drugs are potentially dangerous and have varying effects on individuals, so it is not possible to name the worst drug. For more information on the effects and risks of various drugs go to the A-Z of drugs. Some drugs are more addictive than others, for example crack cocaine, heroin and tobacco Some are likely to cause dangerous effects immediately. For example, as hyperthermia seen with ecstasy use or heart attacks with crack use Some can lead to specific long term physical damage, for example crystal meth, ketamine and alcohol Some drugs can have a stronger psychological or psychiatric impact and might, for example, trigger the onset of a pre-existing mental conditions. For example, khat, amphetamine and cannabis are known to have these effects However, there's no way of you knowing beforehand the harmful effects to which you may be particularly sensitive.
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