Understanding addiction

Addiction impacts the brain in…

Different drugs act on the brain in different ways producing different effects.

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Hallucinogens include LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and PCP (angel dust). These drugs produce visual distortions, empathetic well-being and altered sensory perceptions. For some, this is a meaningful and life-changing experience, for others, it may be unpleasant and frightening.

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Depressants include alcohol, cannabis, benzodiazapines (e.g. valium), heroin and GHB. Depressant drugs relax and sedate, slow heart rate and breathing, and reduce inhibitions. Increased doses can cause impaired coordination, irregular and shallow breaking, loss of memory and consciousness, even death.

Stimulants include amphetamines (e.g. Ritalin, Adderall, ice), MDMA, cocaine, nicotine and caffeine. Stimulants increase alertness,
attention and endurance, can improve mood and create feelings of euphoria and wellbeing. Increased or long-term use of stimulants can cause insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, aggression and paranoia.

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