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How Different Drugs Affect Your Mind Everyone has heard the phrase, “don’t do drugs!” From a very young age, individuals in this country are warned to stay away from drugs and all of the horrendous havoc they can wreak on the brain and body.

But while most lessons may tell you that drugs can do damage to your mind, they rarely ever tell you exactly how the substances will affect you, and what you can expect after long term use. From cannabinoids, to opiates, to even methamphetamines, each will affect your brain differently, and all will leave you wishing that you had never tried them in the first place. Cannabis Cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, is one of the mostly widely used drugs in the United States, and is considered a gateway drug to other, harder narcotics. Marijuana is filled with a substance called THC, which, after entering the brain, causes users to feel euphoric by helping the release of dopamine, a chemical that acts as a reward for the brain. THC also tends to heighten sensory perception, as well as occasionally induce a sense of relaxation. While it may produce these side effects, though, it also comes with drawbacks: THC prevents users from forming new memories, disrupts coordination, and can cause users to experience paranoia or psychosis. The research on long-term use has been vague, although many believe that it comes with extensive paranoia, psychosis, and dependency on the drug. Cocaine


Most often seen in white powder form, cocaine is a narcotic that often has much more devastating effects than marijuana – while both are unhealthy and illegal, cocaine acts much more quickly and comes with severe drawbacks. Cocaine is a highly powerful stimulant, and when it enters the bloodstream, users begin to feel euphoric, energetic, and extremely active. Instead of simply releasing dopamine, though, this drug causes it to store up in large amounts without being recycled, giving the user an extreme high not felt with other drugs. Unfortunately, though, this use can destroy the brain’s normal regulation of dopamine, causing users to become quickly addicted to the sensation during use. Many users claim that they must use a larger amount each time to achieve this feeling, causing them to prolong the cycle and harm their bodies immensely. Heroin A synthesized form of the opiate family, heroin is one of the most powerful and dangerous drugs in existence. It is converted from regular morphine, and its effects are similar. Once heroin enters the brain, it is reconverted back into morphine, and causes individuals to feel a sense of euphoria. With this, though, it also binds to opioid receptors, which block out any feelings of pain. A critical drawback, though: opioid receptors also help regulate necessary functions such as respiration, arousal, and blood pressure – each of these functions become damaged after successive uses of this powerful narcotic. Methamphetamines While campaigns have emerged over the recent years to fight this plague of a drug, use still remains rampant in the United States – and unfortunately it comes with some of the worst side effects. Like cocaine, methamphetamines also cause a large buildup of dopamine in the brain, yet in larger amounts, leading to a quicker addiction than any other drug. Meth users become highly focused on small tasks, and can develop a form of psychosis that only dissipates when the drug runs its course. Because meth is so powerful, the high can often last for hours at a time, with some users even claiming to stay this way for up to a day. The long term side effects are potent as well: users can become addicted quickly, with effects present such as decreased motor skills, lower learning abilities, and a host of emotional and cognitive problems. Stay Away


Each drug has its own set of side effects, all of them being unfortunate and unnecessary. Save yourself the pain of these drugs – stay away, and ensure you live a happy and healthy life.

How different drugs affect your mind  
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