Book Definition: Chemicals that affect mental processes and behavior by their effects on the brain.

In your own words:

  • Drugs that change the perception of the world around, along with drugs that impair brain functions that deal with choices, or the ability to think and react quickly to situations.
  • Some of these drugs can trick the brain with pleasurable signals to make us think their actually good for us.
  • Some, if not all, can be highly addictive especially when abused.
  • Substances that can inhibit or excite the natural processes of your brain.


  • Psychoactive drugs
  • Opiates : highly addictive drugs that suppress physical sensation and response to stimulation.
    - Morphine: painkiller, cough suppressants
    - Heroin: under investigation
    - Codeine: painkiller, cough suppressants
    - Methadone: treats heroin addicts
  • Hallucinogens: produce changes in consciousness by altering perceptions, creating hallucinations, and distorting the boundary between self and external world.
    - Mescaline:none
    - Psilocybin:none
    - LSD:none
    - PCP: Veterinary anesthetic
    - Cannabis: reduces nausea from chemotherapy
  • Depressants : Drugs that slow the mental and physical activity of the body by inhibiting activity in the central nervous system.
    - Barbiturates: Sleep, sedative, anticonvulsant, anesthesia
    - Benzodiazepines: Sedative, sleep, anti anxiety, anticonvulsant
    - Alcohol: Antiseptic
    - Rohypnol: none in the U.S.
  • Stimulants : drugs that speed up central nervous system activity.
    - Amphetamines: Weight control, counter act anesthesia.
    - Methamphetamine: ADHD, weight control (rarely)
    - MDMA (ecstasy): Developed as an appetite suppressant.
    - Cocaine: Local anesthetic.
    - Nicotine: Gum, patch for cessation of smoking.
    - Caffeine: Weight control, stimulant in acute respiratory failure, analgesia.

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