With so many prescription medications and drugs, it can be difficult to discern what the purpose and effects are for each one. Several drugs, whether they be prescribed or illegal, may cause specific side effects that are not found in others. Understanding the distinct categories of drugs can be beneficial to your knowledge and for safety reasons, so that you know what you are taking and what to look out for. Here are the top categories of drugs, according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police:

Central nervous system depressants (CNS): Substances such as alcohol, barbiturates, anti-anxiety tranquilizers (Valium, Xanax, etc.), and many anti-depressants are considered CNS depressants. These substances relax the body and may cause lethargy, lack of concentration, and excessive sleeping.

CNS stimulants: These substances accelerate the heart rate and elevate blood pressure, which “speed up” the body. Examples of this include cocaine, caffeine, amphetamines, and methamphetamines. Other effects may include talkativeness, cheerfulness, frequent urination, and more.

Hallucinogens: These substances cause people to perceive things differently than they really are. Examples of this include LSD, angel dust, peyote, magic mushrooms, psilocybin, ecstasy and more. Other effects typically involve difficulty concentrating, disconnected ideas, and significant mood swings.

Dissociative anesthetics: With these, individuals do not feel pain because the pain center in their brain is “shut off” or disassociated. PCP, ketamine, nitrous oxide and dextromethorphan are examples of this.

Narcotic analgesics: Substances that classify as this typically relieve pain, induce euphoria, and create mood changes. Examples of this are opium, codeine, heroin, morphine, methadone, Vicodin and oxycontin. Effects of this include constipation, nausea, dizziness, sedation, and more.

Inhalants: These substances produce mind-altering results. Examples of this include plastic cement, paint, gasoline, paint thinners, hair sprays, and more. Side effects often include muscle weakness, disorientation, irritability, depression, hearing loss, and more.

Cannabis: Also known as marijuana, the active ingredients in this are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that one may experience altered senses, altered sense of time, changes in mood, impaired body movement, difficulty thinking and problem solving, and more.

If you are ready to begin your journey to recovery, call us today at 888-316-3665. New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several mental health and addiction recovery treatment centers. We believe in holistic treatment, meaning that we will provide exceptional care to help you restore your mind, body, and spirit. Make the decision to recover. Call us for a consultation.

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If you are ready to pursue a life committed to your health, relationships and emotional well-being, you have a team that is willing to walk alongside you and restore hope for your future. Let us help you in taking the first step in your journey to recovery.

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