Drugs are substances that have an effect on the central nervous system and thus interfere with natural physical processes. In this way, they can influence the perception of sensory impressions, feelings and moods. The drug user has a false view on reality and often tends to dangerous overestimation. Influenced in this way, he or she ignores the needs of the body, ignores dangers, and might endanger himself or herself as well as others. Many accidents take place due to drug use. There is also the danger of being physically and mentally addicted to drugs and to focus life around the addiction. This danger is particularly acute for younger people who are generally more likely to take risks than the older generation. If anybody wants to determine whether drugs have been consumed it can, for example, be ascertained with a self-test.
Amphetamine – the high performance drug
Amphetamines boost performance in the short term. They release neurotransmitters (messenger substances) that stimulate the reward centre in the brain. Pulse, blood pressure and body temperature increase. At the same time, hunger, thirst and fatigue are suppressed, and the drug user is capable of maximum performance – but only for a short time, as the body consumes its energy reserves quickly. Amphetamines are highly addictive drugs and with their intake the risk of stroke, heart attack and psychosis increases.
Benzodiazepine – the sedative
Benzodiazepines are medication used as a sleeping or as a calming agent. Due to their relaxing effect, they are also called tranquilizers. Benzodiazepines have a central nervous effect on attention, memory and movement coordination, as well as on emotions. If they are taken for too long, a psychological and physical addiction can develop.
Cocaine – the power drug
Cocaine intoxicates by the increased release of neurotransmitters (messenger substances) that stimulate the nervous system. The brain runs at full blast, the consumer of the drug feels unbeatable and inhibitions disappear. Pulse and respiratory rate, blood pressure and body temperature increase, as well as performance, but only for a short time. Some users are hyperactive or aggressive. At the same time, cocaine consumes energy reserves, thus causing physical exhaustion. Seizures, respiratory and circulatory disorders or cardiac failure may result. Cocaine leads quickly to psychological dependence.
Cannabis – the mood brightener
Cannabis significantly increases dopamine (“happiness hormone”) release. Dopamine activates, amongst other things, our reward system in the brain, which leads to deep relaxation and satisfaction, but can also trigger hysterical giggles. Consumption mostly engenders a positive relaxed basic mood, often accompanied by prolonged speech, laughter and intensified perception. In the state of euphoria, however, it can also lead to disorientation, anxiety and depression up to psychoses. In the case of long-term consumption, a psychological dependency is possible.
Methadone – the substitute
Methadone is a synthetic opioid, often used as a substitute for heroin. Like morphine and heroin, it has a severe analgesic effect without causing a strong state of intoxication. When there is heroin dependency it can relieve the withdrawal symptoms. If administered over a longer period of time, however, it causes a similar addiction as heroin.