Understanding the Physical Effects of Drug Addiction

How Drugs Affect the Body

Drug addiction is a serious issue that often requires drug addiction help to truly overcome. In order to understand why people get addicted to drugs in the first place, we have to understand what happens to the body when a person uses drugs. Different drugs affect the body in different ways. Understanding the drugs and their effects allow drug addiction help programs, like the ones through Teen Challenge USA, provide the best help possible. Below are three of the most common types of drugs and how they typically affect the brain and body.


Stimulants are a type of drug that makes a person feel “sped up,” for lack of a better term. These types of drugs increase heart rate, alertness levels, breathing, and blood glucose levels. Increased levels give the person a rush of adrenaline and the ability to focus better, which is why stimulants are often prescribed for people with ADHD. Some people also take stimulants to aid in weight loss.
Some of the most common types of stimulants are Adderall, Ritalin, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, and Ecstasy. People become addicted to stimulants because they get addicted to the rush and become increasingly dependent on it to be able to focus at all.


Depressants, or downers, are essentially the opposite of stimulants. They make everything feel slowed down and are often prescribed to people who suffer from conditions that make it difficult to completely relax. Common depressants are Valium, Xanax, and Rohypnol. Many people who become addicted to depressants feel overwhelmed by their daily stresses and seek ways to avoid that stress.


Hallucinogens drastically alter how the mind perceives the world around the user. People who take hallucinogens often see and hear things that are not there and may experience intense shifting emotions. Common hallucinatory drugs are LSD, Salvia, and Peyote. Hallucinogens are extremely dangerous and can have life-altering effects. Many people use hallucinogens to escape their situations and gain new perspectives. Individuals who use hallucinogens become addicted when they can no longer handle reality.

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Recovery: Our Process

At Adult & Teen Challenge, we have been guiding students through addiction recovery for over 60 years. We offer a Christ-centered approach, helping our students discover and triumph over the underlying causes of their addiction and find the love and grace of Jesus Christ.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, contact us today.