- Created by: nkirby
- Created on: 03-12-19 15:57
Stimulants, also known as ‘uppers’, are drugs that cause the taker to be energised.
Examples of stimulants: cocaine, nicotine, caffeine, amphetamine.
They are usually injected, insufflated (inhaled) or smoked but may be taken orally too.
Responses to stimulants:
- Increased dopamine (a sense of pleasure/euphoria).
- Blocked re-uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine.
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
- Dilation of pupils.
Issues caused by prolonged use:
- Cardiac enlargement and scarring.
- Heart arrhythmias.
- Paranoid psychosis.
- Blood vessel damage.
- ‘Excited delirium syndrome’ which has symptoms of an acute on-set of hyperthermia, agitated and violent behaviour, autonomic dysfunction and sudden unexplained death.
Hallucinogens alter the perceptions of those who take them.
Examples of hallucinogens: LSD, nitrous oxide, magic mushrooms.
Usually taken orally or sublingually (under the tongue).
Response to hallucinogens:
- Change in mood.
- Alter perception of reality.
MDMA is an empathogen but shares properties with hallucinogens - it stimulated empathy and connectedness.
However, complications of MDMA are much more serious, such as hyperthermia and multi-system failure.
Also knows as ‘downers’. They are calming and a sedative. They have painkilling properties (analgesic) and can also reduce anxiety (anxiolytic).
Examples: alcohol, cannabis, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, opiates, opioids.
They are usually injected, smoked or orally ingested.
Response to depressants:
- They bind to the GABA active site and slow down brain function, slowing down reactions.
- Muscle relaxation.
- Slowed breathing.
- Slowed heart rate and blood pressure.
Complications of depressants:
- Long-term dependance.
The active ingredient of cannabis is THC.
It interacts with various biological receptors.
- Increased heart rate.
- Decreased cardiac output.
- Impaired attention.
- Bloodshot eyes.
- Increased appetite.
- Cognitive deficit.
Opiated & Opioids
Opiate: morphine or other constituent of the opium poppy.
Opioids: synthetic opiates.
- Binds to receptor in the brain.
- Pain relief.
- Respiratory depression.
- Pupil constriction.
- Associated with self-injection: infection, venous damage, deep vein thrombosis, disease transmission.
- Highly addictive with serious withdrawal effects.
- The more a person takes, their tolerance increases leading to them taking more.This increases the risk of an overdose.