• Substance-related disorders are disorders of
intoxication, dependence, abuse, and substance
withdrawal caused by various substances, both
legal and illegal.
• These substances include: alcohol,
amphetamines, caffeine, inhalants, nicotine,
prescription medications that may be abused
(such as sedatives), opioids (morphine, heroin),
marijuana (cannabis), cocaine, hallucinogens, and
• According to the mental health clinician's
handbook, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders (the DSM), fourth edition
text revised (DSMIV-TR), all of the substances
listed above, with the exceptions of nicotine
and caffeine, have disorders of two types:
substance use disorders and substance-
• Substance use disorders include abuse and
• Substance-induced disorders include
intoxication, withdrawal, and various mental
states (dementia, psychosis, anxiety, mood
disorder, etc.) that the substance induces
when it is used.
• Substance Dependence is characterized by
continued use of a substance even after the
user has experienced serious substance-
related problems. The dependent user desires
the substance ("craving") and needs more of
the substance to achieve the effect that a
lesser amount of the substance induced in the
• This phenomenon is known as tolerance. The
dependent user also experiences withdrawal
symptoms when the substance is not used.
• Withdrawal symptoms vary with the
substance, but some symptoms may include
increased heart rate,
shaking, insomnia, fatigue, and irritability.
• Substance abuse is continued use of a
substance in spite of school- or work-related
or interpersonal problems, but the user has
not gotten dependent on the substance. The
individual who abuses a substance may
experience legal problems and may have
problems fulfilling responsibilities, such as
caring for a child.
• Intoxication is the direct effect of the
substance after an individual has used or has
been exposed to the substance. Different
substances affect individuals in various ways,
but some of the effects seen in intoxication
might include impaired judgment, emotional
instability, increase or decrease in appetite, or
changed sleep patterns.
• A depressant, or central depressant, is
a drug or endogenous compound that lowers
or depresses arousal levels and reduces
excitability. Depressants are also occasionally
referred to as "downers" as they lower the
level of arousal when taken.
• Depressants are widely used throughout the
world as prescription medicines and as illicit
• When these are used, effects often include pain
relief, sedation, and cognitive/ impairment, as
well as in some instances euphoria, muscle
relaxation, lowered blood pressure or heart
rate, respiratory depression, and
anticonvulsant effects, and even
complete anaesthesia or death at high doses.
• Depressants are used medicinally to relieve the
• They are also used recreationally for the
• To temporarily boost mood or induce euphoria
• To reduce social anxiety and improve sociability
TYPES OF DEPRESSANTS
Alcohol is a legal depressant for people
over the age of 21. It suppresses the
activity of the mind and body of those
who consume it.
Barbituates are a prescribed medication
for anxiety and insomnia. Some examples
include Phenobarbital, Nembutal and
Amytal. Barbituates are known as
Benzodiazepines are a prescribed
medication for anxiety and for their
tranquilizing effect. Examples include
Valium, Atavan and Xanax.
TYPES OF DEPRESSANTS
GHB is a depressant associated with
sexual assault. It is odourless and tasteless
and consumers of this drug often do so
Marijuana and Inhalants
Marijuana is a depressant as well as a
minor hallucinogen. Some inhalants are
Slang terms for depressants include
booze, downers, forget-me-pills, roofies
and yellow jackets.
• Stimulants (also referred to as psychostimulants)
are psychoactive drugs which induce temporary
improvements in either mental or physical
functions or both.
• Examples of these kinds of effects may include
enhanced alertness, wakefulness, and
locomotion, among others. Due to their effects
typically having an "up" quality to them,
stimulants are also occasionally referred to as
Effects of Stimulants
• Stimulants produce a variety of different kinds of
effects by enhancing the activity of
the central and peripheral nervous systems.
• Common effects may include: enhanced alertness
awareness, wakefulness, endurance, productivity,
and motivation, increased arousal, heart rate,
and blood pressure, and the perception of a
diminished requirement for food and sleep.
• Many stimulants are also capable of improving
mood and relieving anxiety, and some can even
induce feelings of euphoria.
Effects of Stimulants
• However, many of these drugs are also capable of
causing anxiety and heart failure, even the ones
that may paradoxically reduce it to a degree at
the same time.
• Stimulants exert their effects through a number
of different pharmacological mechanisms, the
most prominent of which include facilitation
of norepinephrine (noradrenaline)
and/or dopamine activity (e.g., via monoamine
transporter inhibition or reversal).
To counteract lethargy and
fatigue throughout the day
while at work or while doing
To reduce sleepiness and to
keep the person awake when
necessary, as well as to
To decrease appetite and
promote weight loss, as well
as to treat obesity.
To improve concentration and
focus while at work or school,
especially for those with
attentional disorders such
Occasionally, they are also
used off label to treat clinical
depression, more particularly,
Types of Stimulants
These drugs can only be consumed by
people who have prescriptions from
psychiatric and medical professionals.
These stimulants are usually prescribed to
people who are suffering from ADD or
Attention Deficit Disorder.
It lowers blood pressure and it is a nasal
congestion treatment. Even if it’s a natural
stimulant or supplement, it has the same
structure as methamphetamine, but it has
lesser effect on the central nervous
This chemical is found in kola nuts, tea,
coffee, and cocoa. Caffeine stimulates the
body’s central nervous system to make the
muscles relax. The urine flow will increase
Types of Stimulants
This stimulant is addictive. That’s why lots
of people can’t stop smoking cigarettes.
The American Heart Association states that
the body will immediately react with the
nicotine through increase heart rate and
They are strong drug stimulants and are
manufactured illegally. They are usually
bought as OTC medications. They occur as
powders or crystals that are dissolved in
alcohol or water before being injected.
It is another powerful stimulant that is
illegally manufactured. Some people snort
this powder to get high, while some
dissolve the powder in water before
injecting it into the body.
• Hallucinogens are a general group
of pharmacological agents that can be divided into three
broad categories: psychedelics, dissociatives,
and deliriants. These classes of psychoactive drugs have in
common that they can cause subjective changes
in perception, thought, emotion and consciousness.
• Unlike other psychoactive drugs, such
as stimulants and opioids, these drugs do not merely
amplify familiar states of mind, but rather induce
experiences that are qualitatively different from those of
• These experiences are often compared to non-ordinary
forms of consciousness such as trance, meditation, dreams,
• Dissociatives are a type of hallucinogen that
work by creating sensory deprivation in the
brain so that the mind creates its own
perceptions without the interference of actual
• Examples of dissociatives include PCP,
DXM, magic mushrooms, and ketamine or
Special K as it is often referred to on the
• Psychedelic drugs alter the way you perceive
the world around you and are said to expand
the mind-that is, turn off your brain's selective
perception function and allow you to perceive
everything around you.
• Examples include LSD, mescaline and peyote.
• Unlike the two aforementioned types of
hallucinogens, deliriants are actual
hallucinogens in that they produce completely
false perceptions that aren't based in reality.
• Examples include mandrake, deadly
nightshade (commonly known as Atropa
belladonna) and some medications like
Benadryl and Dramamine when taken in high
• American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fourth
edition, text revised. Washington DC: American
Psychiatric Association, 2000.