Drugs are commonly classified according to their legal status or their effects on the central nervous system. There are three main types of drug effecting the central nervous system. These are: Depressants, Stimulants and Hallucinogens.
Depressants are drugs that slow down the functions of the central nervous system. Drugs that are classed as depressants include alcohol, heroin, morphine, GHB, codeine, methadone, barbiturates, and tranquilisers. In small quantities, depressants can cause the user to feel more relaxed and less inhibited. In larger quantities they can cause unconsciousness, vomiting and even death. Depressants effect concentration and co-ordination. They slow down a person's ability to respond to unexpected situations.
Stimulants are a class of psychoactive drugs that increase activity in the brain. It can temporarily elevate alertness, mood and awareness. Stimulants increase heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure. Other effects include reduced appetite, dilated pupils, talkativeness, agitation and sleep disturbance. Stimulants give the user an adrenaline rush often followed by a “crash”. Drugs that are classed as stimulants include caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy, methamphetamine and other prescribed drugs. Large quantities of stimulants can "over-stimulate" the user, causing anxiety, panic, seizures, headaches, stomach cramps, aggression and paranoia.
Hallucinogens, are psychoactive drugs that effect thinking, alter moods and distort perceptions. Drugs that are classed as psychedelics include marijuana, LSD, psilocybin (derived from a type of mushroom) and mescaline (found in the peyote cactus).
Some individuals use drugs for recreational purposes while others use drugs to cope / escape from life’s problems.
You have a problem with drugs if you are:
• Neglecting your responsibilities at work, or home because of your drug use.
• Engaging in high risk behaviour while you are under the influence, such as having unprotected sex or sharing needles.
• Unable to stop using even though you would like to.
• Having problems in your relationships because of your drug use.
• Your family or friends worry about your drug use.
• You hide or lie about your drug use.
• Having legal problems in order to feed your drug use habit or getting arrested in circumstances related to your drug use e.g. drug offences, disorderly conduct, driving under the influence of drugs etc.
• You feel guilty for using.
• You stopped doing activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socialising, because of your drug use.
• You spend money on drugs that you really can’t afford.
If you answer yes to any of the above and if you’re ready or willing to make a change please call Amicus Counselling and Clincial Psychological Services on 1 800 AMICUS (1800 264 287) for an appointment time.
Amicus Counselling is located at:
Suite 701, Level 7, 105 Pitt Street Sydney NSW 2000
Level 1, 65 Hume Street Crows Nest NSW 2065