What Makes A Substance Psychoactive?

A psychoactive substance alters a person’s physical and mental state due to the way it interacts with your central nervous system. This kind of substance can be used recreationally or prescribed by a doctor to improve your well-being purposefully. The changes in the central nervous system result in alterations to a person’s mood, perception, cognition, consciousness, and behavior. The way the substance affects your central nervous system is what makes a substance psychoactive. 

Wide Range of Different Kinds of Psychoactive Drugs

Psychoactive substances include a wide range of different kinds of drugs, both legal and illicit. The different kinds of psychoactive drugs can be broken down into smaller groups. The wide range of psychoactive drugs is decided mainly because of the effects of the substance on the body and mind. There are many different ways in which they classify psychoactive substances.  First is by their common effects on the brain and the body. Then there is their likelihood for abuse and addiction from high to low. Finally, they are also classified by their chemical structure. 

What Makes A Substance Psychoactive

What Are Stimulants?

Stimulants are a sub-class of psychoactive drugs that will excite the central nervous system. Those who take stimulants will typically experience a drastic boost in energy and feel a lot more alert and focused. But, unfortunately, it will also elevate your heart rate and can dangerously increase your blood pressure. Some different examples of psychoactive stimulants include caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, and cocaine. All of these substances, even coffee, are addictive and can cause adverse effects. 

More About Depressants 

Depressants are a kind of psychoactive substance that will inhibit or slow down the central nervous system. They generally have a calming and numbing effect. When prescribed, they can treat things like anxiety, muscle spasms, and even sleep disorders. Some examples of psychoactive depressants include alcohol, benzodiazepines, and tranquilizers. 

While some depressants can help when prescribed and used correctly, they are very dangerous when abused. Taking too much at one time can lead to shallow breathing, lowered heart rate, coma, and an overdose. 

How Do Opioids Work? 

Psychoactive opioids, synthetic or otherwise, are substances that are derived from the opium poppy plant. Its unique ability to relieve pain is what makes them psychoactive. This kind of substance can cause euphoria and numbness of the body and mind and cause nausea. Some examples of psychoactive opioids include prescription painkillers like Vicodin, oxycodone, morphine, and fentanyl. Heroin is also a psychoactive opioid. While doctors often prescribe them for chronic pain or after surgeries, they are extremely addictive. 

Dramatic Mind-Altering Effects After Hallucinogens Use 

While all of the other psychoactive drugs cause some psychological effects, hallucinogens are mostly known for their very dramatic mind-altering effects. The use of hallucinogens can lead to delusions and hallucinations, and all kinds of other psychological and physical effects on your body. Some examples of psychoactive hallucinogens include LSD, PCP, Ketamine, and magic mushrooms. 

While hallucinogens may not have the same high risk for addiction as the other classes of psychoactive substances, they can very often lead to risky and erratic behavior that can result in serious injury and even death. 

Find Addiction Treatment Program at  Garden State Treatment Center

With any of these classes of psychoactive substances comes a high risk for dependence and addiction. Getting help for addiction with any of these drugs will likely include first going into a medical detox. These substances will cause severe withdrawal symptoms that you will want to detox from in a safe and comfortable environment free from the temptation to use again. 

After detox, we recommend intensive treatment where you will have the ability to get to the root of and understand your addiction. This will give you the best chance at staying sober long term. But, if you are ready to get help today, we are here to get you through it.