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How Drug Abuse Affects Brain and Nervous System

Irrespective of whether the drug is legal or illegal, abuse of any type of drugs has adverse effect on the health of our brain and nervous system. The entire nervous system of our body comprises of the brain, nerve fibers, spinal cord and specialized nerve cells. If brain is affected by drugs then it causes difficulty in sending and receiving signals in the nervous system. Here we have explained how different types of drugs affect our nervous system.


According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, many drugs that work as stimulants usually help in elevating mood and increasing energy in the consumer. If some stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine are consumed in high quantity then it may affect human body and cause exhaustion, apathy and depression. However long term effects of such drugs becomes addiction and can lead to feelings of hostility or paranoia. It is not necessary that all stimulants are included in illegal drugs. Caffeine is the most common stimulant that interacts with neurotransmitters, which affects the functioning of the body as well as the heart rate. 


Depressants are different from stimulants as they give the consumer a feeling of decreased activity and drowsiness. Similar to stimulants, depressant drugs affect neurotransmitters. The most common depressants include alcohol, marijuana, benzodiazepines and barbiturates. All these depressants decrease the brain’s functioning by increasing the occurrence of GABA, a chemical that is responsible for decreasing the functioning of brain.


Codeine, hydrocodone and morphine are some opiates and opiate based drugs that bind to opioid receptors present in our body. Upon consumption of such drugs feelings of pain are reduced. If such drugs are consumed after it has been prescribed or under doctors supervision then opiates provide immense relief to the patient suffering from pain. However, overuse of such drugs makes individuals become immune to the effects and then increased dosage is required to eliminate the same effects. Additionally, when an individual abuses this drug he becomes addicted and become so dependent that he requires it more to maintain basic daily function.


Doctors often prescribe antipsychotics medications to patients suffering schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Such types of medications have great effectiveness in reducing the occurrence of delusions and hallucinations as psychosis reduces the function of binding sites for the neurotransmitter dopamine. In addition to thisFree Reprint Articles, excessive activity in cells in which dopamine receptors appear is one of the leading causes of psychosis.

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Dominic Reigns is the Team Lead of content writers and he shares his experiences about How Drug Abuse Affects Brain and Nervous System.

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