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Drug Effects Chart

The following table outlines a range of commonly used psychoactive drugs and their effects. They are grouped in the chemical classifications of Stimulant, Depressant, and Hallucinogen.

Each drug is also linked to the UK DrugScope web for more information.

Further information:
* Drug Information Index;
* DrugNet Search;
* Pharmaceutical Drug Search

You can also call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) in your state to speak to a drug counsellor or to have drug information posted to you.

 

Contents

S T I M U L A N TS

D E P R E S S A N TS

H A L L U C I N O G E NS

Pharmaceutical Drug Search

The effects of drugs

SUBSTANCE

IMMEDIATE EFFECTS

USE WITH PREGNANCY

CONTINUED
HEAVY / REGULAR USE

WAYS  OF TAKING

S T I M U L A N T

Tobacco Lasts   - 2 hours. Increased heart & pulse rate Harmful Heart & lung disease, cancer, high blood pressure, bronchitis & breathing difficulties Smoking
Caffeine Lasts 2 - 4 hours. Increased alertness. Large doses can delay sleep. Doctors advise less than 4 cups tea/coffee per day. Restlessness, upset stomach. Can be harmful for people with heart problems. Oral
Amphetamine
Speed
Lasts 4 - 8 hours. Highly stimulating. Excitement, increased activity & decreased appetite. Larger doses delay sleep. Harmful Inability to sleep, restlessness, headaches, aggression. Can cause severe mental or emotional disturbances. Snorting Injecting Anally
Oral
Cocaine Crack
Can last up to 4 hours. Feeling of self confidence & power, increased energy & decreased appetite. Harmful Loss of concentration & motivation. Dizziness, aggression & mental disturbances. Can cause psychiatric complications. Snorting can lead to tearing of the nasal wall. Snorting Injecting Oral
Anally
MDMA
Ecstasy
Can last up to 6 hours. Increased blood pressure, confidence & a feeling of closeness with others. Sensation of floating, anxiety, nausea & paranoia can occur. Harmful Sensation of floating & other disturbed perceptions. Can cause convulsions, irrational behaviour, insomnia, depression. Oral Injecting Anally

SUBSTANCE

IMMEDIATE EFFECTS

USE WITH PREGNANCY

CONTINUED
HEAVY / REGULAR USE

WAYS  OF TAKING

D E P R E S S A N T

Alcohol Slurred speech, loss of inhibitions, relaxation, feelings of happiness & wellbeing or depression. Large doses can cause unconsciousness or hangover. Harmful Can result in brain & other nervous systems damage, heart, pancreas, stomach & liver damage & sometimes death. Withdrawal can produce sweating, tremor, convulsions & delirium. Oral
Minor
tranquillisers

Valium, Rohypnol, Serepax
Lasts 12 - 24 hours. Relief of anxiety & tension, drowsiness (possible sleep), lack of muscle coordination, blurred vision. In some cases excitability. Harmful. Use only under medical supervision. Depression, lack of muscle and speech coordination. Withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, tremor & convulsions can also occur while on a stable dose. Oral Injecting Anally
Opoids
Heroin, Morphine, Codeine, Pethidine, Methadone, Opium
Palfium
Temgesic
Physeptone
Lasts 4 - 24 hours. Relief of pain & anxiety, feelings of wellbeing, decreased awareness of outside world. Vomiting, drowsiness & sleep in some. High doses can cause unconsciousness & death. Harmful. Use prescribed preparations only under medical supervision. High risk of overdose; HIV and hepatitis if sharing needles. Withdrawal symptoms are anxiety, sweating, cramps, runny nose, vomiting, insomnia, pain. Oral Injecting Smoking Snorting
Cannabis
Marijuana
Can last up to 5 hours. Relaxation, laughter, increased appetite, slowing down of time, loss of concentration, decreased coordination & blood shot eyes. Can be hallucinogenic Long-term effects are still to be assessed. Respiratory complications. Can decrease concentration & memory. Psychiatric problems possible if schizophrenic condition already exists. Oral Smoking
Inhalants & Solvents
Petrol, Glue, Aerosol cans, Butane Gas
Lasts 1min - 3 hours. Petrol sniffing effects  up to 6 hours. Feelings of happiness, excitement, relaxation & drowsiness. Half have illusions. Headaches & irritation common. Large amounts can cause illness & unconsciousness. Butane & aerosols may cause sudden death. Harmful Liver, kidney & brain damage can result. Suffocation caused by plastic bags, choking on vomit. Inhalation

SUBSTANCE

IMMEDIATE EFFECTS

USE WITH PREGNANCY

CONTINUED
HEAVY / REGULAR USE

WAYS  OF TAKING

H A L L U C I N O G E N

Hallucinogens
LSD
Magic mushrooms
DMT
Psydelic
Lasts 6 - 12 hours. Hallucinations ie seeing, hearing, feeling or thinking things that don't exist. Anxious feelings, panic, & nausea can occur. Harmful Can increase the risk of severe mental disturbances. Can cause 'flashbacks' (where the drug experience can recur at anytime.) Oral
Injecting

HIV and hepatitis B & C infection can occur if sharing injecting equipment. Injecting with dirty syringes can cause abscesses and blood poisoning.
New Injecting equipment should be used every time.

Note: Mixing drugs can sharply increase the effects of either substance, e.g., driving ability can be markedly impaired by mixing alcohol with minor tranquillisers.

The Effects of Drugs chart was produced by CEIDA (Centre for Education and Information on Drugs and Alcohol) and made available to DrugNet with their permission. CEIDA 1985, revised 1995.

Search Pharmaceutical Drug Information

The search engines below are from the The Rx List.
They are especially useful for pharmaceutical and prescription drug information.

 

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Other DrugNet Pages in this Subject Heading

Introduction ] [ Drug Chart ] Overdose ] Pregnancy ] Solvents Info ] Withdrawal ]

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