Psychoactive Drugs

chemical substances that can alter arousal, mood, thinking, sensation, and perception.

4 Categories

~ depressants (depress/inhibit brain activity)
~ opiates (morphine agonist; painkillers/euphoria)
~ stimulants (stimulate/exite brain activity)
~psychedelic drugs (distort sensory perceptions)

physical dependence

a physiological need for a drug, marked by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued

withdrawal symptoms

unpleasant physical or psychological effects following discontinued use of a drug, can include shakes or tremors, vomiting, blood pressure/heart rate changes

drug rebound effect

withdrawal from a drug makes you manifest the opposite symptoms that the drug produced.

drug abuse

the ingestion of a drug to the extent that it impairs the user's biological or psychological well-being.




the most frequently used and abused CNS depressant in most cultures; its use affects mood, judgment, cognition


drugs that depress the activity of the central nervous system, reducing anxiety but impairing memory and judgment


Depressant drugs that relieve anxiety.


~natural (opium, morphine, codeine)
~synthetic (heroin, methadone, oxycontin)
opiates mimic endorphins, reduces brains perception of pain.




a mild stimulant found in coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate


stimulant drug in tobacco that increases heart rate and blood pressure


drugs that stimulate neural activity, causing sped-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes.


a natural drug derived from the leaves of the coca plant. produces intense euphoria, mental alertness, and self-confidence

stimulant-induced psychosis

schizophrenia-like symptoms develop.

Psychedelic Drugs



hallucinogenic substance found naturally in the peyote cactus.


powerful hallucinogenic drug manufactured from lysergic acid


drug derived from the hemp plant.

Designer Drugs

~MDMA (ecstasy)
~PCP (angel dust)


a synthetic stimulant and mild hallucinogen. Produces euphoria and social intimacy, but with short-term health risks and longer-term harm to serotonin-producing neurons and to mood and cognition.

PCP and ketamine

dissociative anesthetics that produce feelings of detachment and depersonalization. distortions of space, reality, and time are common. stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain.

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