Drugs: Types of drugs and the effects they have

Drugs can affect your body, your mental health, and your relationships with others.


DRUG TYPES: Drugs can typically be categorised into these four types; all behave differently in the body and produce different effects.


The effects on you will depend on the type of drug are taking. Some drugs are highly addictive and experimentation can lead to a dangerous and expensive habit.

Such as LSD (Acid), Psilocybe Semilanceata (Magic Mushrooms), PCP (Angel Dust), Cannabis (Weed), Alcohol, GHB, GBL…


Depressant drugs produce a feeling of relaxation and calm between the body and brain. Depressants hove also been linked with mental health problems, and in high doses can cause paranoia, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.

There are many other effects:

  • Drowsiness, slurred speech, and blurred vision
  • Impaired judgement (as well as lack of self-control leading to increased risk-taking)
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Memory loss

Such as LSD (Acid), Psilocybe Semilanceata (Magic Mushrooms), PCP (Angel Dust)


Hallucinogens are drugs that distort how you see the world around you. They can be naturally occurring or man-made, and hove many effects on the body:

  • A trip
  • Lack of appetite
  • Changes in sense of time
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Loss of coordination
  • Flashbacks
  • Vomiting
  • Panic & paranoia

Such as Cocaine (Coke, Crack), Speed (Amphetamines), Ecstacy (Pills, MDMA)…


Stimulants can be addictive to different degrees. Some stimulant drugs, such as cocaine and ecstasy, are illegal because they can cause a lot of harm to the body.

Some of the effects of stimulant drugs are:

  • Increase in energy and mental alertness, and feelings of euphoria
  • A comedown
  • Sensitivity to sound and light
  • Increased heart rate
  • Unpredictable and violent behaviour
  • Panic & paranoia
  • Feelings of confidence and increased risk taking
  • Damage to the immune system

Such as Heroin (smack, horse), Codeine, Methadone, Morphine…


Opiate drugs control addictive behaviour and pain. They are incredibly addictive.

Some other effects of opiates include:

  • An overwhelming feeling of euphoria and pleasure
  • Collapsed veins and infectious diseases
  • Constipation and stomach cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itching, sweating and mood swings
  • Insomnia and clouded thoughts
  • Overdose – A heavy feeling in the arms and legs

Find more Healthy Habits Resources:

Healthy Habits: Have you had your five a day?

Did you know 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children experience mental illness, and many more of us know and care for people who do? For all of us to remain healthy and resilient it is good for us to set ourselves daily goals. These can be as big or as small as you can...

read more

Smoking: Its effects on the body

You don't have to have been smoking for a long time for tobacco to affect the way you look... SKIN The poisons in tobacco reduce the amount of oxygen getting to the skin. This makes it look grey and dull, and can also cause cellulite to build up. TEETH AND TONGUE...

read more

Alcohol: Socialising and studying under the influence

People rely on alcohol to have a good time or believe that they need it to feel more confident in social situations. They may feel like alcohol makes them feel happy but alcohol is a depressant drug. This meons that you may react differently to situations ond your...

read more

Alcohol: Its effects on the body

Alcohol affects nearly every part of the body and can damage some of our most important organs. __ BRAIN Impacts on mood and mental well being. Effects judgement and increases risk-taking behavior Effects long and short term memory. HEART Strains the heart and causes...

read more

Alcohol: The effects of binge drinking

Binge drinking can be very dangerous and some of the risks include: COORDINATION Drinking a lot of alcohol can affect balance, increasing the risk of having an accident. Alcohol affects how you feel pain, so you may not realise that you have been seriously injured....

read more

YMCA NORTH TYNESIDE would like to thank the following for their support: