Most addictive drugs come in two general classes: stimulants and depressants. The most fundamental way in which these two types differ can be inferred by their names. Stimulants stimulate the central nervous system and depressants do the opposite, slowing it and all the parts of the body controlled by the central nervous system down.
Of course, there are many other differences between the two. Due to the prevalence of recreational drug use, it’s important to be familiar with the effects of each type of drug in order to be able to recognize the signs of abuse, addiction, and overdose. Both stimulants and depressants claim lives every year due to overdose and other health problems related to long-term abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were a total of 47,055 drug overdose deaths in the US in 2014.
In addition to overdose, addiction is a serious problem on both ends of the spectrum, for legal and illicit drugs. Without proper education on these substances, it can be easy to put oneself at risk for developing a substance use disorder and find that one’s life is controlled by a drug. An inability or refusal to stop abusing a drug often results in early death from health complications.
Common Health Effects
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