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Explains the mental health effects of recreational drugs, what might happen if you use recreational drugs and also have a mental health problem, and suggestions for where to find support. View this information as a PDF new window. There are four main groups of drugs, divided according to their major effects, plus a few substances that do not easily fit into any category.
The main are:. Visit Frank's A—Z list of drugs for detailed information about lots of different individual drugs. Repeated use can cause psychosis and paranoiawhich may be diagnosed as schizophrenia. They are also addictive. For more information about physical effects of illegal drugs, see the Frank or Erowid websites. These are synthetic substances created to try to mimic the effects of existing drugs in the above, to get around the law. They used to be called 'legal highs' but all such substances are now illegal. Most have unknown effects in addition to their intended effect, and trying them is therefore extremely hazardous.
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What types of drug are there? The main are: stimulants e.
Stimulants These make you feel: energetic alert talkative active very excited They can be very dangerous causing death at high doses. Depressants sedatives These make you feel: relaxed chilled out mellow possible paradoxical effects — anxiety, nightmares, aggression They are dangerous at high doses.
They are addictive. Opium-related painkillers These make you feel: a rush of pleasure in a dreamy state drowsy They are very dangerous at high doses. Hallucinogens These vary a lot.
The same drug may have different effects at different times. These may make you feel: detached from your surroundings mood swings altered sense of space and time hallucinations, illusions and distortions of reality feelings of insight mystical or religious experiences The experience may be powerful and not much fun. Remember You will not necessarily experience these effects. Someone showing symptoms like this will not necessarily be taking drugs — there may well be other causes. All these drugs can also cause physical side effects, some of which can be unpleasant or dangerous.
New psychoactive substances illegal highs These are synthetic substances created to try to mimic the effects of existing drugs in the above, to get around the law. Was this useful? Yes No Tell us more Tell us more. Tell us more Why did you visit this ? What do you want to tell us about? Praise — things we do well Criticism — things we could do better Errors, mistakes or broken links What do you want to tell us about?
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If you are in crisis right now and want to talk to someone urgently then you could call Samaritans on freephone. Our s on crisis services have more options. This information was published in November This is currently under review. All content was accurate when published.
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