Other Drug Information

How Drugs Affect Your Body

What can happen to your body if you use drugs?  Here are some short-term and long-term effects of some commonly abused drugs. 

Marijuana/Cannabis

Short-term effects: Causes a pleasant feeling of relaxation and/or euphoria, along with a sensation of time slowing down and possible hallucinations. Can cause user to feel very hungry or thirsty. Leads to increased heart rate and bloodshot eyes. Injuries and death are possible due to difficulty concentrating, decreased coordination, and other impairments.
Long-term effects: Similar to tobacco, can cause respiratory problems and increase the risk of cancer in the lung and respiratory tract. Impairs short-term memory and attention. May complicate pre-existing mental illnesses.

Cocaine/Crack

Short-term effects: Causes user to feel more awake, energetic, talkative, and self-confident. Decreases appetite. Increases temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Can cause feeling of restlessness and anxiety; in high doses, may lead to erratic or violent behavior.
Long-term effects: Very addictive, and user may develop a high tolerance level, requiring larger doses of the drug for the same effect. If snorted, can cause damage to the nasal area, including possibly creating a hole in the nasal septum. User may have difficulty concentrating and feel dizzy. Can cause or increase mental problems. May lead to malnutrition due to the feeling of decreased appetite.

Non-prescribed Adderall

Short-term effects: Can cause dry mouth, insomnia, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, decreased appetite.
Long-term effects: Weakens effectiveness of other prescription drugs. Can cause nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness. May lead to long-term heart problems.

Non-prescribed Ritalin

Short-term effects: Can lead to hallucinations, anxiety, panic, and nausea.
Long-term effects: Suppresses appetite. Can cause heart problems, tremors, insomnia, and muscle twitching. May cause hallucinations and/or long-term mental problems. Can also cause fever and severe headaches.

Amphetamine/Speed

Short-term effects: Causes user to feel very awake, alert, and energetic. Decreases need for food and sleep. May cause brain damage on first use. Taken in high doses, may cause convulsions and/or raise body temperature to dangerously high levels.
Long-term effects: Very addictive. User may become delusional and paranoid, experiencing auditory hallucinations and homicidal or suicidal thoughts.

MDMA/Ecstasy

Short-term effects: Causes user to feel empathy with others. May lead to a "floating" sensation. Can cause increased heart rate and blood pressure, elevated temperature (sometimes dangerously high), and involuntary teeth clenching and grinding. User may feel faint, nauseous, anxious, and/or paranoid. Can cause brain damage with one dose.
Long-term effects: Damages areas of the brain related to pleasure sensations, mood, thinking, and judgment. May lead to hallucinations or disturbed perceptions such as the feeling of "floating." Can cause insomnia, depression, and convulsions.

Hallucinogens/LSD

Short-term effects: Effects depend on environment, dose, and personality of user. Possible effects are increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, blurred vision, sweating, dry mouth, tremors, and decreased need for food or sleep. In high doses, can cause hallucinations, delusions, anxiety, and nausea.
Long-term effects: Users often have flashbacks to LSD experiences, even when not taking the drug. Increases risk for brain damage and mental problems

Information obtained from: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration