Despite the growing need for realistic and truthful stories, media interpretation of drug use frequently defaults to a cool or glamorous habit. Too often, the dangerous side-effects of drug use are left out of the picture. And what we are left with is a deeply manipulated narrative, devoid of the harmful reality of drug use.

The oft missing piece of the story is a dark truth: drug use is rife with debilitating and dangerous side-effects, some of which can cause seizures and death. Below are side-effects of commonly-used drugs.

Party/club drugs – long-term effects

Club or party drugs are most often found at raves and music festivals. The most common party drugs are MDMA (ecstasy), Rohypnol, and GHB. The allure of the party drug scene is euphoria. They cause sensations of relaxation, human connection, and happiness.

Conversely, they also cause severe dehydration, memory loss, irregular heartbeat, and decreased motor function. This is especially true of Rohypnol, which has garnered a reputation as the “date-rape” drug. Rohypnol acts as a powerful sedative and muscle relaxer, allowing perpetrators to harm their victims without any threat of self-defense.

But, the greatest danger in party drugs is actually their make. Club drugs are often cut with harmful impurities in order to bring down the cost of production and distribution. In the long-term, mismatched ingredients and faulty pills can lead to dangerous health complications, even death.

Cocaine – side effect on the brain

Cocaine is a stimulant, often referred to as blow, snow, or rail, among many other street names. Coke is a highly addictive derivative of the cocoa plant that causes a quick and intense high when snorted or smoked. Cocaine is common among college parties, festivals, and clubs. Not only does regular cocaine use lead to violent and aggressive behavior, but it also poses a serious threat to the brain and cardiovascular health. Cocaine causes anxiety, muscle spasms, panic attacks, and seizures. And in some cases, coke can lead to immediate death.

Marijuana – the everyday habit

Marijuana is the drug on everybody’s mind. If people aren’t doing it, they’re talking about it. Proponents for the legalization of cannabis are pushing for the drug’s supposed medicinal powers, and rivals are pointing to the drug’s ability to incite laziness. So, what is the truth? The jury is still out on this one.

Only the further research will truly confirm whether or not there are harmful, long-lasting side-effects to marijuana use. What we do know is that marijuana does cause some change in mood, appetite, and motor function in the short-term. For some people, cannabis can also cause severe anxiety and psychosis. All of this, of course, depends on the person, the strain, and the method of ingestion.

psychological effects of stimulants

Oxycodone – a highly addictive drug

Oxycodone is a narcotic, prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Though it is used as a prescription pharmaceutical, it has tremendous power to cause addiction. Oxycodone is used to relieve pain, but it also comes with a laundry list of harmful side-effects that almost cancel out any positive components of the drug. Prolonged used of oxycodone can cause headaches, seizures, heart failure, depression, spinal fluid pressure, and swelling of limbs.

Herion – life changer

Heroin may be less common than the other drugs on this list, but it is also the aftermath of many of the aforementioned addictions. Heroin causes a strong, blissful high that later becomes an elusive sensation. Once the high fades, users have a hard time living life without it. Through repeated use, heroin causes behavioral changes, loss of interest in hobbies, violent and aggressive behavior, weight loss, mood swings, and depression.

The real narrative

Drug use is dangerous. There is no denying that truth. Drugs come with a hazardous side effects that can lead to serious illnesses and medical complications. After the high fades, users are left with an amalgam of problems, ranging from depression to loss of appetite. And many of these side effects are not easily reversed.

As always, the best tool for prevention is education. It’s important to know about the risks of drug use and to always be mindful of what you put in your body.

To learn more, check out our blog or reach out to our counselors at United Recovery Project.