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What are the Categories of Drugs?

There are three categories of psychoactive drugs stimulants, hallucinogens, and depressants.

Stimulants briefly heighten mental and physical functions and increase activity in parts of the brain. This can cause feelings of alertness and energy, but they can lead to dehydration, addiction, or a heart attack. Some examples of stimulants are caffeine, Adderall, and cocaine.

Hallucinogens affect perception, thought, and emotion. They can create visual and auditory delusions, and have the potential to alter personalities, sometimes permanently. Some examples of hallucinogens are psilocybe mushrooms (shrooms), L-S-D (acid), PCP (angel dust), and MDMA (ecstasy).

Depressants can cause relaxation, pain relief, and sedation. However, they can have serious side effects, including memory loss, heart trouble, and respiratory failure. Some examples of depressants are alcohol, valium, and heroin, which is one of the most addictive drugs.

The most commonly used illegal substance, marijuana, has stimulant, depressant, and hallucinogenic qualities. The potential side effects include lung damage, mental dependence, and insomnia.


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