Alcohol abuse and drug abuse has certain side effects both long-term and short-term. The number of people suffering from drug abuse and addiction is rising every day. It is estimated that over 7.1 million in the United States are affected drug addiction. The symptoms experienced are dependent on the gender, age, physiology, mental condition and genetic make-up or an individual. Some of the common drugs abused include opiates, inhalants, hallucinogens, and alcohol. Every substance has certain side effects associated with it. These effects of drug abuse can be mild or severe. The severe effects of drug abuse are related to life-threatening outcomes.

Short term effects

Different substances have different effects on the body. Most of the drugs abused have a negative effect on the brain. Drugs can affect your energy level, mood level, perception as well as the thinking capacity. They may interfere with your problem-solving and decision-making capacity.


This is the most common abused drug. The intoxication level caused by alcohol is dependent on the composition of the body as well as the weight of a person. Increased euphoria and sociability are some of the effects caused by low intoxication of alcohol. High levels of intoxication can lead to amnesia and even blackouts. Other short-term effects caused by alcohol include coma, memory problems, impaired judgment, slurred speech, coordination issues, mood swings and uncontrolled eye movements.


The effect of hallucinogens is dependent on the intoxication levels. Some of the common hallucinogens include psilocybin (magic mushrooms), peyote (mescaline), DMT and LSD. All these are associated with various mid-altering side effects. Other effects include tremors, blurred vision, increased heart rate, hallucinations, excessive sweating, dilated pupils, heart palpitations, and increased perceptions.


These drugs are extremely dangerous when abused. They can lead to serious respiratory problems such as respiratory depression. Examples of opiates include oxcontin, perconet vicodin, and heroin. Some of the opiates are taken orally while some are mixed with solutions and then injected. Heroin is usually snorted or injected. The effects associated with opiates include vomiting, nausea, coma, drowsiness, attention problems, itching skin, slowed movements and thinking, memory impairments, attention problems, and pinpoint pupils. The decreased rate of breathing caused by intoxication of opiates can lead to oxygen overdose and deficiency.


Barbiturates are the prescription sedatives which depress the nervous system. They are known for reducing anxiety or inducing sleep when they are taken. These drugs are associated with increased risk of dependence. The short-term effects of barbiturates are similar to those caused by intoxication of alcohol such as amnesia and blackouts. Other effects include stupor, coma, sedation, confusion, drowsiness and troubles with coordination.