It’s important for anyone who has experienced an addiction or is vulnerable to addiction to learn about drugs and their effects. One simple way to learn about the various types of drugs is to learn about the classes that drugs tend to fall in. In fact, one significant part of addiction treatment is providing participants with an education about drugs. This article will provide readers with a simple and basic breakdown of the various classes of drugs.
Depressants – Essentially, these are drugs that have the effect of slowing down the central nervous system. They are the most widely prescribed drugs, as well as the most widely used and abused. These drugs include alcohol, barbiturates, antihistamines, and tranquilizers. Depressants induce drowsiness and diminish normal activity of the brain.
Narcotics – This class of drugs are extremely powerful, highly addictive forms of depressants. These quick acting drugs should only be taken under a doctor’s supervision and include heroin, morphine, and codeine. They are often prescribed as a means to manage pain. However, because of the pleasant effects these drugs have, they can be extremely addictive. Like depressants, narcotics also depress the central nervous system. However, they also cause visual and auditory hallucinations, sweating, shaking, and certain physical discomfort. In some extreme cases, narcotics can make someone unconscious. These are dangerous drugs and should only be taken under supervision from a medical professional.
Stimulants – This class of drugs have the opposite effect of depressants and narcotics. They speed up the nervous system and can have an effect on attention and concentration. Examples of stimulants include caffeine, diet aids, amphetamines, and cocaine. Large doses of stimulants can make a person feel jittery or have erratic forms of behavior.
Hallucinogens – This class of drugs have the effect of producing hallucinations in a user. They can alter the user’s perception of reality by distorting sensory input or generating false sensations. A person taking hallucinogens, such as LSD, PCP, or peyote might see something that is not there or they may feel something that does not exist. Of course, experiencing a hallucination can affect a person’s ability to function for the time that the drug is having its effects.
Prescription Medication – This class of drugs include any kind of drug that is taken under the supervision of a doctor. However, just because a drug is prescribed doesn’t mean that they can’t be abused. In fact, one of the biggest challenges facing America in recent years was the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and overdoses that occurred as a result. A prescription drug is legal only for the person for whom it was prescribed. If a person is taking someone else’s prescription, it is considered an illegal drug. It’s also possible for people to abuse non-prescription drugs, such as those purchased over the counter. When a person takes a drug in a way that differs from the directions provided, it is considered abuse.
Learning about drugs and their effects is one way to help prevent addiction in ourselves and others. As men and women come to understand the ill effects that drugs and alcohol can have on the body and mind, they are much less likely to abuse drugs. And instead, they are more likely to make choices that are healthy for themselves.
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