Medical information  
 Terms Glossary
 First Aid
 Diet Information
 Preventive Medicine
 Immunization Schedules
 Biological Warfare Effects & Treatment
 Men's health
 Atlas of skin diseases
 Drug encyclopedia
 Atlas of human anatomy
 Alternative medicine
 Baby's developmental milestones
 Medical laboratory tests
 Smoking and health effect
 Advice for travelers
 Hearth attack: risk chart
 Diabetes: risk chart
 Cancer: risk chart
 Alcoholism and treatment
 Topic of the Week
 Medical Topic
 Latest News
 News Archive
  » Men's health  »  What are drugs?

Drugs are substances that change the way your brain and body works. Drugs can be swallowed, inhaled, smoked, or injected. They can come from plants, like tobacco or marijuana, or they can be manufactured in a lab, like ecstasy. Sometimes, everyday items like glue or paint are used like drugs. Items like these are called inhalants, and using them this way can kill you instantly. Whichever way drugs are taken, they end up in your bloodstream. Blood supplies your entire body with oxygen and nutrients. When your blood contains drugs, the drugs go to all parts of your body. Here are the effects from just some types of drugs:

  • Marijuana — memory loss and problems with learning, thinking and problem solving. Loss of coordination and distorted perception, anxiety and paranoia. Loss of interest in sports, activities, schoolwork, friends, and family. If you are high you can forget to have safe sex and put yourself at risk for STDs and HIV. In the long-term, it can cause cancer, problems with breathing, and damage your immune system.
  • Stimulants, like methamphetamine ("speed, meth, chalk") —  damage to your brain cells and blood vessels and possible stroke. At lower doses, you suffer decreased appetite, increased respiration, irritability, inability to sleep, confusion, tremors, anxiety, paranoia, and aggressiveness. You also could have convulsions or a dangerously high body temperature that can lead to death.
  • Hallucinogens, like ecstasy (MDMA, "E," "X," "The love drug") — gives you dry mouth, faintness, chills, dehydration, sweating, nausea, cramps, tremors, blurred vision, anxiety, depression, paranoia, confusion, and an increased heart rate. Everyone reacts differently, but you could have a heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, seizure, and increase in body temperature. You may clench and grind your teeth, wearing off the enamel that protects them from rotting. If you use it regularly, you can become psychologically dependent on it to feel good as a person. It also can damage your brain permanently.