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What are Psychotropic Drugs?

Psychotropic pillsPsychotropic drugs are widely used in the treatment of different medical disorders. They are also used for recreational purposes – usually illegally. This type of medication temporarily alters brain functioning through its affect on the central nervous system. Psychotropic substances are also sometimes referred to as psychoactive.

Types of Psychotropic Drugs

Psychoactive drugs include a wide range of substances including:


It is possible to break all psychoactive drugs into four main varieties; antipsychotics, hallucinogens, stimulants, and depressants. It is possible for individual drugs to fall into more than one category. A good example of this would be marijuana that could be classified as a hallucinogen, depressant, or a stimulant.  The categories are only really for convenience sake.

Medical Uses of Psychotropic Drugs

There is little doubt that psychotropic drugs are very useful in the treatment of different physical and mental conditions. They have improved the quality of life for many individuals who would otherwise struggle in life. Here are just a few of the possible medical uses for psychoactive drugs

  • Treatment for depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Pain control
  • Insomnia
  • Treatment for mania
  • Managing withdrawal symptoms
  • Managing psychosis
  • Relaxation prior to surgery
  • To help people cope with grief

The above is just the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to the medical uses of this type of drug.

Recreational Uses of Psychotropic Drugs

Almost every human will try use psychotropic drugs occasionally. Our favourite beverages will usually contain caffeine and drinking alcohol is very much part of our culture. There are also the illegal psychoactive substances such as heroin, cocaine, LSD, and marijuana that people will turn to for recreational purposes. It can be very tempting to try these different drugs because they alter the way the mind works. These substances can produce feelings of euphoria and well being. Those individuals who find life difficult to manage can find release in these medications.

All psychotropic drugs have the potential to cause addiction. When people develop a chemical dependence on a substance it can completely take over their life. They will lose friends, family, and possessions. They become so dependent on these substances that they develop physical withdrawal symptoms should they ever try to stop. This not only makes the life of the addict a living hell but also everyone around them; especially family and friends.

Some Final Thoughts of Psychotropic Drugs

Psychoactive substances have been around since the dawn of time. People have used these drugs to benefit their lives and to cause themselves harm. It is likely that this sometimes uneasy relationship with the drug will continue to exist well into the future. It is hard to imagine how we would manage without the medical benefits of these substances. Hopefully in the future we will learn to be better deal with the dangers associated with these drugs.

Health Not

What are Psychotropic Drugs?

marijunaPsychotropic drugs are known to most of us; although we might not recognize them by this name. In fact a lot of us tried this type of drug in the past. The most famous of all  are illegal substances like LSD and marijuana, but caffeine is also considered to belong to this group. The psychotropic drugs that get the most attention are of the illegal variety but there are many that are prescribed for different mental and physical conditions.

So What are Psychotropic Drugs?

These are drugs that basically affect the nervous system and by doing so they can cause changes to our perception and behavior. Sometimes this affect will be quite mild; people don’t tend to experience the world too differently after a cup of coffee. Stronger psychotropic drugs can completely change our perception; some are so good at this that we might not ever fully recover.

It is usual to describe these types of drugs as belonging to different classes; although some will belong to more than one class. The four classes are sedatives, stimulants, hallucinogenic substances, and depressants. Alcohol is considered to be a depressant and it is another psychotropic drug that most of us will be familiar with.

The strangest thing about them is that with a lot of them we have no clear idea about how they work. All we know is that when people take them that certain things will tend to happen; although the results can vary greatly between person to person.

The Benefits of Psychotropic Drugs

There are many medicinal properties associated with psychotropic drugs; even those that are now classified as illegal. LSD was originally devised as a method for treating people with certain mental health issues, and for many years it was used for this purpose. These days there are an increasing number of people who need to take antidepressants and some antipsychotic medications.

Some psychotropic drugs such as marijuana are the subject of much debate because of their association with negative as well as positive effects. There is no doubt that this can be a very effective medicine for dealing with chronic pain and other conditions; in fact there are many who claim that there is no substitute for how effective can be. The evidence for the benefits of marijuana is supported by plenty of scientific research. Marijuana has developed a bad reputation though because of its association with hippy culture and people who just want to get high. In many countries the knee jerk reaction has been to just ban the drug; even though this is unfair on those people who depend it to deal with ill health.

There is little doubt that abuse of illegal psychotropic drugs can lead to negative consequences. Some users of LSD and marijuana have suffered major mental health consequences as a result of misusing these chemicals. The one that has caused the most harm though is actually legal – alcohol is believed to cause far more problems than all the illegal drugs combined.