Categories of Recreational or Psychoactive Drugs Introduction A drug as defined by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is every substance that alters the functions of the human body. A Psychoactive drug or a psychoactive substance, whereas, is the particular drug which crosses the blood brain barrier and has an effect directly on the neurons in the Central Nervous System of the human brain, and hence are used for recreation as well. These recreational drugs encompass three broad categories of drugs. These drugs act on the perception, mood, consciousness, cognition and behavior of an individual. These drugs are also used recreationally to alter one’s state of mind purposefully in order to artificially stimulate ones senses or induce feelings of happiness and euphoria. There are chances, therefore, that the person will fall victim to the drug’s addiction. In this case, the person would keep abusing the drug, besides all the psychological and physical health risks. If the person does not consume the drug in a continuous and regular dosage, the person might feel irritation and nausea. The three broad sub-categories of recreational drugs include:
Stimulants, also referred to as “Uppers” are the recreational drugs which causes increased and enhanced alertness, wakefulness, locomotion, confidence, motivation and arousal. The effect is not only external, but also every single neuron speeds up and functions faster and more effectively. After the use of a stimulant, the heart rate and blood pressure will rise and food and sleep would no longer be required. These drugs mostly act by facilitating the dopamine or the norepinephrine activity by acting as an antagonist on the serotonin receptors. Cocaine, being one of the most addictive drugs, is the most widely abused stimulant. It is used recreationally in over 100 countries and is generally considered a hard drug. Its addiction may result in psychological as well as physical damage. Lethargy, psychosis, depression, akathisia, and fatal overdose are usual psychological problems caused by cocaine. Its usual form of absorption is through the nasal muscles, which is very dangerous considering that cocaine is in the form of crystals. These crystals eventually damage the inner nasal walls and the walls of the larynx and then the bronchioles. Other forms of widely used stimulants include caffeine and nicotine.
Contradictory to the stimulants, the depressants are supposed to suppress/lower the neurotransmission levels, hence lowering the heart rate and the blood pressure. Depressants are generally used for pain relief, muscle relaxation, sedation, somnolence and cognitive/memory impairment. At high doses, it serves as an anesthetic and can even cause death when taken excessively.
Most of the depressants are extracted from the opium poppy. Even the sleeping medicine used worldwide, mostly uses opiates. These drugs are used recreationally to relax the body and mind, and take the user to a state of numbness. The most dangerous and famous depressant is the Heroin. It is considered the most addictive drug and has the lowest withdrawal rates.
Hallucinogens are the drugs that can cause changes in the perception, thought, emotion and consciousness. Unlike the stimulants or the depressants, these do not amplify or suppress known states of mind. Instead, these induce experiences that are very different from the normal consciousness. There are three types of Hallucinogens: a) Psychedelics
Psychedelics are the traditional hallucinogens. Their function is to alter the perceptions of the user and remove the wall between imagination and reality. Only marijuana out of all other psychedelics is used as a prescription drug. Other Psychedelics include LSD, DMT, MDMA and cannabinoids. b) Deliriants
Deliriants are used to induce a state of extreme confusion and delirium in the userâ€™s mind. The user is mostly not able to control oneâ€™s actions. c) Dissociatives
Dissociatives produce a sense of detachment from the surrounding environment. These drugs are used to induce a sense of derealization or depersonalization in the patient. These drugs are commonly used to treat several psychological diseases.
Conclusion To conclude, all sorts of drugs are bad if they are used recreationally. Above all, the use of psychedelics and deliriants should be prohibited in general. These drugs have a very few prescription uses and are mostly only used for recreation.