The influence of drugs on psyche and anxiety
What do drugs really do to us?
Drugs have an impact on our bodies and also on our psyche. Attention and concentration are enhanced, emotions are intensified, but sensory illusions can also occur. The effects are often followed by disillusionment, negative moods and lows. There is often also a risk of dependence.
Many drugs can be basically divided into 3 groups: stimulants, entactogens, and hallucinogens.
Stimulants, e.g. amphetamines or metamphetamines, give the user high feelings and have a stimulating effect, since the "happiness hormone" dopamine, as well as adrenaline and noradrenaline, are released. Adrenaline and noradrenaline ensure attention and concentration, among other things. When stimulants are still working in the body, you often don't notice how tired and exhausted you actually are. As a result, you may subsequently be overwhelmed by fatigue and exhaustion.
Ecstasy, for example, belongs to the group of entactogens. Similar to stimulants, it releases happiness hormones and noradrenaline. With entactogens, one's own emotions are perceived more strongly. However, after the effect wears off, depression, insomnia and anxiety sometimes occur, which is also known as the "ecstasy hangover".
The word hallucinogens strongly reminds of hallucinations. This is exactly what is evoked here as well. Hallucinogens cause a change or deception of one's sensory perception. In addition, it can also alter one's sense of space and time. An example of a hallucinogenic drug would be LSD. Depending on the mood and emotional state of the user, the trip can develop positively or negatively. People with strong fears and perhaps also a slightly depressed mood before taking the drugs, can quickly experience a "horror trip" here.
Some of these drugs have a high risk of addiction. Agitation, anxiety, hallucinations, and depression can develop or intensify with use.
In Europe, more and more people suffer from anxiety disorders. However, pathological anxiety is not only a major health policy and social problem, it also increases the risk of becoming addicted to drugs.2
Drug use is mainly concentrated among young adults (15 to 34 years), affecting about twice as many men (21.6%) as women (12.1%), according to their own statements.3
- Deutsche Hauptstelle für Suchtfragen e.V.
- Where fear resides and cocaine works
- European drug report 2021: files › publications