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Effects of Drug Abuse on the Brain and Nervous System

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When the Central Nervous System (CNS) is affected by drugs this could become very dangerous. A high dosage of drug abuse over a period of time may lead to serious damage.

When the Central Nervous System (CNS) is affected by drugs this could become very dangerous. A high dosage of drug abuse over a period of time may lead to serious damage. The human brain may halt the production of essential chemicals required for it to function properly. Neurological brain communication may be permanently rewired. CNS drugs also affect the lungs and heart. This may lead to irregular heartbeats, breathing difficulties and even hypertension.


The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that drugs which affect the central nervous system and are very likely abused includes prescription and street drugs. Stimulants such as cocaine, methamphetamine and amphetamine. And depressants such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates.


NIDA and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) both agree that when these drugs are abused, the direct cause that affects the nervous system comes from the brains neurotransmitters. This interference with the brains neurotransmitters is actually biochemical substances that should be produced by nerve cells. Thoughts and processes are thus not effectively communicated between the brain and the nervous system.


According to NIDA, cocaine, Dexedrine, methamphetamine and Ritalin increases chemicals that is in turn released by the brains dopamine neurotransmitter.

Stimulant Drug Effects

The brain’s dopamine neurotransmitter is structurally similar to that of the chemicals released by stimulant drugs. Too much chemicals flooding gives a euphoric sensation. This in turn leads to interference with normal communication on the part of the brain. Stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall help to increase brain activity. However, an increase in brain activity may result in paranoia, heart problems and even seizures when such medication is abused.


Depressant drugs are known to stimulate the functions responsible for the brain's gamma-amino-butyric acid neurotransmitter (GABA), which communicates and decreases overall brain activity. According to NIDA depressant drugs such as Valium, Mebaral, Xanax and Nembutal are responsible for this.

Depressant Drug Effects

Chemicals that are released by depressant drugs slow down brain function due to the increase in GABA neurotransmitter activity. Abusers will get an anesthetic effect, extreme drowsiness and a calming effect. The abuse of such depressants like Xanax and Valium provides for the abuser a calming effect by decreasing brain activity. This can result in an irregular heart beat rate, depression and even seizures.


Injecting prescription drugs into the bloodstream directly or snorting through the nostrils will have a more faster, potent and negative effect for brain receptors. This will eventually lead to symptoms of overdose and even death.


Posted on Dec 28, 2012
Gimpao Ni Ei Suuh
Posted on Dec 20, 2011

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Mohd Rizal Rushdi

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