What are drugs really doing to us?
There is a negative stigma around recreational drugs. We have been taught they’re bad as they’re illegal, and we have heard lots of stories about people overdosing. But what are the real effects they’re having on our bodies? I have researched the top 4 recreationally used drugs and their effects on our bodies:
More commonly known as weed, pot and marijuana, cannabis is one of the most commonly used drugs, recreationally and medicinally. Cannabis has both long and short-term and effects. Some of the shorter effects include a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing, distorted perceptions of time, space and distance, increased heart rate, increased appetite, anxiety and paranoia. If you start to use the drug more often and over a long period of time, there can be issues of psychosis – delusions, hallucinations and thought disorders. Alternatively, cannabis is used to treat health issues such as cancer and glaucoma.
Ecstasy is mainly made up by the ingredient methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). However there are other ingredients mixed with the MDMA, like speed combined with a synthetic hallucinogen or para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA). Ecstasty is also known as the “love pill” because it amplifies sensations and can make sex feel better. Effects of ecstasy include: feelings of confidence, accelerated heart rate and breathing, sweating, dehydration, jaw clenching and teeth grinding, loss of appetite and an increased urge for sex.
Cocaine is a stimulant that speeds up the workings of the brain. There is a section of the brain that ‘rewards’ us for engaging in life-enhancing behavior, such as eating or having sex, and when you take cocaine, your brain taps into that section and releases dopamine; the neurotransmitter that helps control the brain‘s reward and pleasure centers. This is how cocaine can become neurochemically addictive. Effects of cocaine include: feelings of euphoria, accelerated heart rate, increase in body temperature, a burst of energy and the urge to have sex.
This is one of the natural hallucinogens which effects people through the chemical psilocybin, which belongs to the same chemical family as LSD. There are several species native to Australia which differ in chemicals, though the effects are usually the same. The short- term effects of magic mushrooms include: hallucinations, a distorted sense of time and place, increased body temperature, sweating, and/or chills. The long-term effects will differ between individuals; they can last up to weeks or even months. Some of them include: impaired memory, prolonged depression and anxiety, as well as flashbacks.
Although taking these drugs recreationally may not affect you in the long-term, there are always dangers taking them at any point. From overdosing to being addicted, each of the effects listed can vary from person to person, depending on their mind-frame and surroundings. Moral of the story? Be careful of what you put in your mouth, and if you do wish to take drugs, be aware of all the consequences. kids.