Health and Fitness

Commonly Abused Drugs and Their Effects

Drugs and Their Effects

Drug abuse occurs with both licit and illicit drugs. Drugs that are commonly abused include stimulants, hallucinogens, opioids, and marijuana. Some of the most abused drugs today are discussed below.


The legality of alcohol has made it accessible. Most people use alcohol at celebrations, parties, and some drink at home, making alcohol one of the leading drugs abused in the world. It doesn’t matter how long you stay before taking a drink; in the long run, drinking too much alcohol causes serious health repulsions. Other effects include:

  • Dependency-People who take alcohol regularly develop a mental and physical dependency on alcohol. When a person is dependent on alcohol, quitting becomes difficult because of severe withdrawal symptoms. In such cases, people who are willing to stop using alcohol seek professional help for medical detoxification. You can learn more about detox effectiveness on alcohol addicts. 
  • Immune system-Alcohol lowers the natural immune system, making the body prone to diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. 
  • Digestive system-Alcohol causes damage to the intestines, making digestion of food difficult, resulting in constipation and indigestion.
  • Reproductive health-Long-term use of alcohol results in erectile dysfunction in men and may lead to infertility in women. 
  • The circulatory system-Long-term alcohol abuse can result in heart complications such as irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and heart attack.
  • Liver cirrhosis-As alcohol passes through the liver, it kills some cells. The liver cells regenerate to replace damaged tissues. However, taking too much alcohol for a prolonged period may reduce the ability of the tissues to heal, resulting in liver cirrhosis.


People who take meth can smoke, inject or snort the drug. Meth addiction has the most severe effects, and it results in dependency. With meth, the longer you take it, the more likely you overdose for a ‘better feeling.’ Other effects of meth include:

  • Excessive talking
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Intense pleasure
  • A rapid heart rate 
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Shallow or rapid breathing
  • Paranoia and agitation
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach pain
  • Dilated pupils


Opiates are known for medical purposes, especially in managing chronic pain. However, opiates such as heroin are commonly abused. Opiate abuse causes addiction, constipation, shallow breathing, drowsiness, mental fog, nausea, and death. Severe symptoms that need immediate medical attention include:

  • A pale face cold at the touch
  • A stiffened body
  • Purple color on the fingernails
  • Making incoherent noises
  • Unconsciousness
  • Low heartbeat
  • Difficulty with breathing


Cocaine is a stimulant that alters the attention, energy, and alertness of a person. People who abuse cocaine get addicted in a short period. It occurs in crystal or powder form. Most users rub the cocaine on their gums, snort, or dissolve the crystals in water for injection. The user feels intense energy and alertness. Some long term and short term effects of cocaine abuse include:

  • Convulsions and seizures
  • Intense happiness
  • Anger/irritability
  • Paranoia 
  • Sexual trouble
  • Decreased appetite
  • Bowel decay in case swallowed accidentally
  • Headaches 
  • Heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
  • Mood problems
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch, sound, and sight
  • Lung damage
  • Nosebleeds, loss of smell, and runny nose


Marijuana is also commonly referred to as weed or dope. It is both a depressant and a stimulant. In most cases, marijuana is smoked; however, it is also drunk or eaten. Abusers mostly use it for pleasure, while doctors also use it in treating specific conditions. Marijuana affects brain functionality and the body as a unit. Effects of marijuana addiction include:

  • Affects mental health-It may cause or aggravate mental disorders such as depression. It also leaps to paranoia, hallucinations, and losing grip on reality. 
  • Heighten senses  
  • Breathing difficulties, especially for those who use it with cigarettes
  • Uncoordinated motor skills
  • Distorts sense of time
  • Addiction
  • Brain impairment
  • It obstructs pain from illness (you might be unwell and not know)

Drug abusers seek short-term pleasures which result in long-term damage, such as drug dependency. It is paramount to seek help if you abuse drugs.