When you think of drugs, you probably think about illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin. But chemicals that people use for medical purposes, like prescription medications, are considered drugs.
As of 2020, the FDA had approved over 20,000 prescription drugs for marketing in the U.S. Also, 66% of American adults were taking prescription drugs in 2021.
So what are drugs, anyway? If you’re like most people, you may be asking yourself this question but don’t necessarily know how to find the answer.
This post will look at what drugs are and why people take them. We’ll also discuss the different types of drugs and their effects on the body. So read on to learn more about drugs.
What Are Drugs?
Drugs are chemicals that change the way your body works. When you take a drug, it enters your bloodstream and affects your body in different ways.
The effects of a drug depend on what type of drug it is, how much you take, and your individual characteristics. These could be your age, weight, and health.
Some drugs are designed to treat medical conditions. These are called prescription or over-the-counter drugs. People take these drugs to ease their medical conditions.
Examples of prescription drugs include painkillers, antidepressants, and birth control pills. Over-the-counter drugs are available without a prescription and include ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
People take other drugs for non-medical reasons for which they are considered illegal. These include cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. They’re also recreational drugs, which means people take them for the pleasurable effects they produce.
Whatever the reason, people who take drugs can develop an addiction. They may be unable to control their drug use and keep taking it even though it’s causing problems in their lives.
Types of Drugs
There are different types of drugs. These include ecstasy, NSAIDs, sulfa, legends, and blue drugs. Here is an in-depth explanation of each of these drug types:
What Are Drugs in Ecstacy?
Drugs in ecstacy are also known as MDMA. They are psychoactive drugs that alter your mood and perception. They belong to a class of drugs called phenethylamines, which includes stimulants and hallucinogens.
People take MDMA in pill form. But it’s also possible to snort, smoke, or inject drugs in ecstacy. The effects of the drug vary depending on the dose, but they typically last for 3–6 hours.
At low doses, MDMA can cause feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and pleasure. At higher doses, it can cause hallucinations and distorted perceptions.
MDMA can cause dehydration, heatstroke, and anxiety. It can also lead to dependence and addiction.
If you or someone you know is using MDMA recreationally, it’s important to be aware of the risks. And if you want to help people already addicted to ecstacy drugs, you can become a substance abuse counselor. Check out the available InterCoast programs and start your journey towards one of the most fulfilling careers.
What Are NSAID Drugs?
NSAIDs are a type of drug that you can use to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever. The drugs work by reducing the production of certain chemicals in the body that are responsible for these symptoms.
You can buy NSAIDs over-the-counter and by prescription. You’ll find the drugs in different forms. Examples include tablets, capsules, gels, creams, and patches.
Some common NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. Generally, NSAIDs are safe and effective. However, you can experience some side effects after using them.
Common effects include stomach pain, indigestion, and diarrhea. In rare cases, they may also cause more serious gastrointestinal problems. For this reason, it is important to speak with a doctor before taking NSAIDs.
What Are Sulfa Drugs?
Sulfa drugs, also known as sulfonamides, are a type of antibiotic. You can use it to treat bacterial infections, urinary tract infections, and ear infections.
Sulfa drugs work by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. While they are effective against a wide range of bacteria, they are not effective against viruses. Sulfa drugs are available in both oral and topical forms.
Sulfa drugs’ most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The drugs can cause more serious side effects, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome or blood disorders.
You shouldn’t use sulfa drugs if you’re allergic to sulfonamides. You may experience more serious side effects, such as breathing difficulties and swelling of the face.
What Are Legend Drugs?
The FDA accepts legend drugs for specific therapeutic use. However, they carry a warning label due to their potential for abuse or dependency. These drugs include opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants.
Legend drugs are effective if you use them as directed. However, they can be very dangerous.
Opioids, for example, can lead to respiratory depression and death. Central nervous system depressants can cause drowsiness, impaired thinking, and slowed reflexes. And stimulants can cause increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Because of these risks, legend drugs are tightly controlled and only available by prescription. You should seek help if you’re struggling with an addiction to legend drugs.
What Are Blue Drugs?
Blue drugs are a type of psychoactive drug that people use recreationally. These drugs get their name from their blue tint. The blue coloration is due to certain chemicals like methylene blue.
Blue drugs can cause increased energy levels and improved mood. They also have a sedative effect. They can cause relaxation, drowsiness, and impaired thinking.
Some common blue drugs include Blue Cohosh and ketamine. While these drugs can produce pleasant effects, they can also be dangerous.
They can cause anxiety, paranoia, and delusions. Because of the risks involved, it is important to be careful when using any blue drug.
What Are Drugs? Find Out and Choose Wisely
We hope our article has answered your question about “What are drugs?” Now that you know what drugs are, you should be careful when choosing them for recreational or medical purposes. Make sure you understand the risks involved and always speak with a doctor before taking any drug.
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