Get informed : Drugs and addictions

Drugs
   
The effects of drugs

HOW CAN ONE PREDICT THE EFFECTS OF DRUGS?

It is impossible to predict exactly what effect a drug will have. The effects of drugs are primarily a function of the combination of the substance (its nature, purity, and quantity, the way in which it was taken, and the amount of time it takes for the body to eliminate it), the individual (tolerance for the product, consumption habits, weight, height, general health status, and their emotional state before taking the drug), and the context (where the drug was consumed and who it was consumed with).


“BAD TRIPS” AND “BLACK OUTS”

There are certain negative effects of taking drugs.

“Bad trips” generally take the form of incoherent speech and the enhancement of a person’s pre-drug emotional state (sadness, anxiety, depression).

“Black outs” generally take the form of short-term memory loss (forgetting what happened the night before) and mood changes. They occur in cases of major intoxication with alcohol and certain hallucinogens.

What to do?
  • Reassure the person, take them to a calm, dimly lit place, and wait for the effects to disappear.
  • Don’t hesitate to get help or information from an emergency centre, such as Info-Santé, a CLSC, or the Poison Control Centre.

OVERDOSES

An overdose is the presence of an excessive dose of a drug in the body. Reactions depend on the type and quantity of drug absorbed, on the person’s physical and psychological state, and the context in which the person finds themself. An overdose can cause death.

What to do?
  • An overdose requires medical attention or, at the very least, some form of aid, since the person is in danger of going into respiratory arrest.
  • It is absolutely necessary to call an ambulance or quickly go to the hospital.
  • Taking an ice bath, drinking coffee, and going to sleep have no effect, and don’t prevent overdoses.

MIXING DRUGS

There are so many kinds of drugs and so many possible drug combinations that it is impossible to accurately list all the effects and consequences of mixing drugs. You must remember, however, that you shouldn’t mix alcohol with most medication and drugs, and that all drug combinations can cause major complications. In some cases, mixing drugs can even lead to cardiac arrest.


EFFECTS ON SEX

Drugs can exert effects on sex.

In low doses, drugs may increase desire and arousal but somewhat inhibit orgasm.

In high doses,
drugs can decrease desire, cause erectile dysfunction, cause lubrication problems in women, and inhibit or prevent orgasm.
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