Substance Intoxication

Written by Aleem

August 27, 2023

Understanding the Effects of Different Drugs

Substance intoxication is the term for the physical and mental affects that happen when a person takes too much of a drug, which can change how they think and act. Different substances can make you feel intoxicated in different ways, and each one has its own risks and affects.

Drugs and substances are both names for the same thing. A drug is any substance that affects our bodies or thoughts and is not food. It doesn’t have to be a drug or against the law. People often use the word “substance” instead of drug,” in part because many people don’t realize that booze, tobacco, and caffeine are also drugs. When a person drinks alcohol, takes cocaine, smokes marijuana, or takes a pill, trillions of powerful molecules rush through the system and into the brain. Once there, the chemicals set off a chain of biochemical reactions that mess with the way the brain and body normally work. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that using drugs too much can lead to different kinds of weird behavior.

 In this blog, we’ll talk about getting high on drugs in simple, easy-to-understand terms. We’ll break it down by type of drug and talk about how it affects people and society.

How to Understand Substance Intoxication?

Substance intoxication is a group of brief, negative changes in behavior or mental state that happen when someone takes a drug or soon after. For example, drinking too much alcohol can lead to alcohol intoxication, a brief state of poor judgment, mood changes, irritability, slurred speech, and poor coordination. In the same way, drugs like LSD can cause hallucinogen intoxication, also called hallucinosis, which is mostly made up of dreams and distorted perceptions.

People who abuse drugs often also become physically dependent on them. They build up a resistance to them and have withdrawal symptoms when they stop using them. Tolerance happens when the brain and body need more and more of a drug to get the same benefits as before. When someone builds up a tolerance, they need more and more of the drug to get the same effect. Withdrawal reactions are unpleasant and sometimes dangerous symptoms that happen when a person suddenly stops taking or cuts back on a drug. These symptoms include cramps, anxiety attacks, sweating, and feeling sick.

Substance intoxication occurs when a person uses a substance, whether it’s legal or illegal, and it changes how they think, feel, and act. These affects can be fun, but they can also be dangerous and lead to bad things like addiction, accidents, and health problems.

Types of different substances which individuals use

Sedatives: Are drugs that slow down the brain and central nervous system, making the body slow. These include drugs that make you sleepy or calm your nerves.

Stimulants: Stimulants are the reverse of sedatives. They make the Central Nervous System work faster.

Tobacco: It is the most popular drug and is very hard to quit.

Caffeine: Caffeine is a natural stimulant that is most often found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. It keeps you awake by boosting the central nervous system.

Alcohol: Alcohol is another drug that slows down the brain and makes you sleepy. It is widely used in many countries.

Cannabis: Also called marijuana, is a psychoactive drug made from the Cannabis plant that is mostly used for medical or recreational reasons.

Hallucinogens: Are a type of drug that changes a person’s view of reality in a way that is hard to describe. These changes are called dreams.

Inhalants: Are things like spray paints, pens, glues, and cleaning fluids that can be easily bought and found. They have dangerous chemicals in them that make you feel high when you breathe them in.

Opioids: They come from poppy plants and are things like heroin that work on opioid receptors to make you feel like you’re high on morphine. They are mostly used in medicine to relieve pain, including as anesthesia.

Types of drugs and how they make you feel when you take them

  • Alcohol Intoxication:

Cognitive effects include bad thinking, less self-control, trouble remembering things, and slurred speech.

Physiological effects include slurred speech, less balance, throwing up, breathing more slowly, and maybe even alcohol poisoning.

  • Cannabis (Marijuana) Intoxication:

Cognitive effects include a changed sense of time, trouble remembering and focusing, and a change in reasoning.

Physiological effects on the body include a faster heartbeat, a dry mouth, bloodshot eyes, and a bigger hunger.

  • Stimulant Intoxication (Cocaine, Methamphetamine):

Cognitive effects include more energy, more awareness, more confidence, irritability, and paranoia.

Physiological effects on the body include a faster heartbeat, higher blood pressure, bigger eyes, sweating, and the possibility of heart problems and seizures.

  • Opioid Intoxication (Heroin, Prescription Painkillers):

Cognitive effects on the brain include euphoria, sleepiness, confusion, and poor balance.

Physiological effects on the body include slurred speech, slower breathing, diarrhea, and the chance of an overdose.

  • Hallucinogen Intoxication (LSD, Magic Mushrooms):

Cognitive effects include changes in how you see things, hallucinations, skewed thinking, and changes in how you feel.

Physiological effects on the body include dilated pupils, a faster heart rate, and a higher chance of accidents because of poor reasoning.

  • Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Intoxication (Benzodiazepines):

Cognitive effects on the brain include drowsiness, poor balance, forgetfulness, and slurred speech.

Physiological effects Breathing slows down, blood pressure drops, and there is a risk of overdose when mixed with other drugs.

Effects on individuals and society

Drunkenness can have a big effect on both the person and society as a whole:

Health Effects: Being high on drugs can cause physical health problems, addiction, and mental health problems.

Social Consequences: Drunk people can’t think or act clearly, which can lead to crashes, dangerous sexual behavior, and strained relationships.

Legal Consequences: Drunk driving and other illegal activities linked to being high on drugs can get you in trouble with the law.

Economic Burden: People who abuse drugs or are addicted to them cost society a lot of money through things like health care costs, lost work time, and criminal justice costs.

How to stop and deal with substance abuse

Education: It is important to teach people about the risks and effects of being high on drugs.

Harm Reduction: Lessening harm can be done by encouraging better ways to use drugs, like not drinking and driving or using clean needles when injecting.

Treatment: People who abuse drugs or are addicted to them should get help from a professional through therapy, counseling, or rehab programs.


Understanding how different drugs make people feel and how they get high is important for supporting responsible drug use and dealing with addiction. Substance abuse can have serious effects on both the individual and society as a whole. Prevention, teaching, and reducing harm are important parts of solving this complicated problem.

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